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Q Magazine

Prince's 'Purple Rain' to Become a Broadway Musical

Featuring songs from the film, the musical is set to be written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, with Lileana Blain-Cruz on tap to direct.

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With the 40th anniversary of Prince’s blockbuster Purple Rain approaching later this summer, work is now underway on a Broadway musical adaptation featuring songs from the iconic film.

Announced on Jan. 8 by producer Orin Wolf, the musical is set to have a book written by Pulitzer Prize finalist Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, with Lileana Blain-Cruz on tap to direct. Jacobs-Jenkins’ play Appropriate is currently playing on Broadway starring Sarah Paulson, while Blain-Cruz recently directed Lincoln Center’s Tony-nominated revival of The Skin of Our Teeth.

Wolf’s previous Broadway credits as a producer include Beautiful — The Carole King Musical, Once, Orphans, and The Band’s Visit. It is unknown when the musical is expected to premiere.

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Source: MEGA

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (left) will write the book for the new musical, while Lileana Blain-Cruz (far right) will direct.

“It’s been almost 40 years since Prince’s legendary film Purple Rain took the world by storm and we can’t think of a more fitting tribute than to honor Prince and the Purple Rain legacy with this stage adaptation of the beloved story,” said L. Londell McMillan, the chairman of the Northstar Group, and Larry Mestel, CEO of Primary Wave Music, in a statement to Variety. Those two groups jointly control Prince’s intellectual property, following a long, complicated legal battle that ensued after the star died in 2016 while leaving no will.

“We are thrilled with our Broadway partners and creative team, who are bringing a theatricality to the film’s original fictional story,” the statement continued. “We can’t wait for a new generation to discover Purple Rain and for lovers of the original film and album to experience its power once again, this time live.”

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Source: MEGA

'Purple Rain' has been certified 13x platinum by the RIAA.

For those who are somehow unfamiliar with the original, Albert Magnoli-directed film, it featured Prince as The Kid, a fledgling star who escapes his abusive home life to make a name for himself in the Minneapolis club scene, romancing a singer named Apollonia and purifying himself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka along the way. Its release marked the moment that Prince catapulted from relatively standard pop stardom into full-scale iconhood.

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The album and film catapulted Prince into a whole new strata of stardom.

Released on July 27, 1984, Purple Rain topped the U.S. box office upon release, winning Prince his first Oscar for Best Original Song Score. The accompanying album was Prince’s first LP to top the U.S. album chart, with singles “When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy” also becoming the artist’s first two songs to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 100. The album was later certified 13x platinum by the RIAA, and the film was included in the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry of “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” works.


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