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Purple Rain announces additional creative team members: music supervision, arrangements and orchestrations by tony award-winner Jason Michael Webb longtime Prince music collaborators Bobby Z and Morris Hayes

Join the creative team as Prince music advisers world premiere pre-Broadway engagement

Runs April 10–May 11, 2025 at historic State Theatre in Minneapolis, MN

Opening night April 30

Open casting calls to be held this summer

Members of the creative team to join Bobby Z and Morris Hayes for first look panel at Celebration 2024 in Minneapolis, Saturday, June 22

Purple Rain

MINNEAPOLIS (June 20, 2024) — Producer Orin Wolf has announced additional creative team members and performance dates for the pre-Broadway world premiere stage adaptation of Prince’s legendary film and album, PURPLE RAIN. The production will run April 10 – May 11, 2025 at Hennepin Arts’ historic State Theatre in Minneapolis as part of its 2024-2025 Bank of America Broadway on Hennepin season. The official opening night is Wednesday, April 30.

Tony Award Winner Jason Michael Webb will be the production’s Music Supervisor and will also provide musical arrangements and orchestrations for the production.

L Londell McMillan, Chairman of The NorthStar Group,and Larry Mestel, Founder & CEO of Primary Wave Music, also announced today that Morris Hayes and Bobby Z, both of whom worked with Prince for years as bandmates and musical collaborators, have joined the production as Music Advisers. Morris Hayes was the keyboardist of Prince’s band, “The New Power Generation,” for nearly two decades and was also Prince’s Musical Director for several years. Bobby Z was the drummer in Prince’s band, “The Revolution,” for nearly a decade and appeared in the film PURPLE RAIN.

“As well-known collaborators and bandmates with Prince from different eras, we are thrilled to invite Bobby Z and Morris Hayes to join the PURPLE RAIN production as Music Advisers,” said L Londell McMillan. “Prince very much enjoyed live musicals and talked about adapting PURPLE RAIN for the stage. I can’t imagine two better artists to work with us and the Broadway creative team to help ensure that PURPLE RAIN is brilliantly realized, on stage, in a way that honors Prince and his music legacy.”

“Bringing in Morris Hayes and Bobby Z, two of Prince’s longtime collaborators, was extremely important as we move forward with the pre-Broadway premiere of PURPLE RAIN,” said Larry Mestel. “Having worked with Prince for years, they will ensure this production holds true to Prince’s vision and continues his legacy. Matching their history and musical contributions with Prince, alongside the creative team already in place, will surely bring magic to the stage.”

As previously announced, this stage adaptation, based on the film, PURPLE RAIN, will feature a story by Prince; a book by Tony Award winner and two-time Pulitzer Prize-finalist Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, based on the original screenplay by Albert Magnoli and William Blinn; music and lyrics by Prince; and direction by Tony Award-nominee Lileana Blain-Cruz.

CELEBRATION PANEL

Director Lileana Blain-Cruz, book writer Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, and music supervisor Jason Michael Webb, will be joined by Bobby Z and Morris Hayes for a “First Look” panel discussion at CELEBRATION 2024 this Saturday, June 22 in Minneapolis. For details, please visit: https://www.paisleypark.com/celebration-2024

OPEN CASTING CALLS

The production will also be holding open casting call auditions in Minneapolis for all roles. Dates and information will be announced in the coming weeks and will also be available at https://purplerainbroadway.com/

ABOUT PRINCE AND PURPLE RAIN

PRINCE ROGERS NELSON (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) is widely regarded as one of the greatest musicians of all time. A singer, songwriter, musician, and music producer, he received countless awards, nominations and accolades for his music, performances, and skill as a multi-instrumentalist, frequently playing all or most of the instruments on his recordings. His music incorporated a wide variety of styles, including funk, rhythm and blues, rock, new wave, soul, blues, jazz, and hip-hop. Prince produced his albums himself, pioneering the Minneapolis sound.

Prince has sold over 150 million records worldwide, ranking him among the best-selling music artists of all time. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006, and the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame in 2016. He received seven Grammy Awards, seven Brit Awards, six American Music Awards, four MTV Video Awards, and Academy Award for Best Original Score for Purple Rain, and a Golden Globe Award. Two of his albums, Purple Rain (1984) and Sign o’ the Times (1987), received Grammy nominations for Album of the Year. His albums 1999, Purple Rain, and Sign o’ the Times have all been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. At the 2013 Billboard Music Awards he was honored with the Billboard Icon Award.

PURPLE RAIN tells the fictional story of The Kid, an up-and-coming rock musician in the Minneapolis club scene, as he contends with a tumultuous home environment, a rival band, and a budding romance. Released in July 1984 by Warner Bros, the film was originated by Prince, directed by Albert Magnoli and written by Magnoli and William Blinn. It was Prince’s film debut.

PURPLE RAIN is a cultural phenomenon, widely regarded as one of the greatest musical films ever made, grossing close to $100 million worldwide and winning the Academy Award for Best Original Score. In 2019, the Library of Congress added the film to the National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Prince and The Revolution’s iconic soundtrack, PURPLE RAIN, was released in June 1984. The album received two Grammys, three American Music Awards, two Brit Awards, and an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score. The album remained at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for 24 weeks. The album is certified 13x Platinum by the Recording Industry of America (RIAA) and has sold over 25 million copies worldwide.

ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM

JASON MICHAEL WEBB. Special Tony Award recipient. Two-time Drama Desk Award winner. Credits include MJ (music direction, orchestrations, arrangements), Choir Boy (MTC, arranger), The Color Purple (Broadway revival, music director), Disney’s Aida (revival; arranger, music supervisor), “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” (2013 Inauguration of President Barack Obama). Nominated for two Grammy Awards. Executive music producer: Respect (MGM, starring Jennifer Hudson). Director: The Last Five Years (2021 film). Composer: The Ms. Pat Show (BET+), Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare in the Park), Light It Up! (Cleveland Playhouse), Wildflower (National Black Theatre/Apollo Theater).

Record producer and musician BOBBY Z was the drummer in Prince’s legendary band, The Revolution, from 1978 to 1986. Along with his fellow bandmates, he appeared in the film PURPLE RAIN. Bobby played on many of Prince’s most legendary albums, including Dirty Mind, 1999, Purple Rain, Controversy, Around the World in a Day, Parade, and Sign o’ the Times.

MORRIS HAYES was a member of Prince’s band,“The New Power Generation,” for almost two decades, and served as Prince’s Musical Director for several years. In addition to Prince, Morris Hayes has performed live with such acclaimed artists as Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston, Sheila E., H.E.R., Elton John, Maceo Parker, John Legend, Lenny Kravitz, Alicia Keys, Usher, Maroon 5, D’Angelo, Common, Kanye West, and many others. Morris Hayes performed in the historic Super Bowl Halftime Show with Prince in 2007 and was the Musical Director for the official Prince Tribute Concert in St. Paul, Minnesota, in October 2016.

BRANDEN JACOBS-JENKINS is a Brooklyn-based playwright, producer, Tony Award-winner and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist. Recent theatre credits include the Tony Award-winning Appropriate, The Comeuppance (Signature Theater), Girls (Yale Rep), Everybody (Signature Theatre), Gloria (Vineyard Theatre),and An Octoroon (Obie Award; Soho Rep, Theatre for a New Audience). He is Professor in the Practice of Theater and Performance Studies at Yale University and currently sits as Vice President of the Dramatists Guild council. He serves on the boards of Soho Rep, Park Avenue Armory, and the Dramatists Guild Foundation. Honors include a USA Artists fellowship, a Guggenheim fellowship, the MacArthur fellowship, the Windham-Campbell Prize for Drama, and the inaugural Tennessee Williams Award.

LILEANA BLAIN-CRUZ is a director from New York City and Miami. Recent projects include Michael R. Jackson’s White Girl in Danger (Second Stage Theater/Vineyard Theatre); The Skin of Our Teeth (Lincoln Center, Tony nomination); The Listeners (Opera Norway); Dreaming Zenzile (St. Louis Rep, McCarter Theatre, upcoming: NYTW / National Black Theatre); Marys Seacole (LCT3, Obie Award); Wayne Shorter and esperanza spalding’s …(Iphigenia) (MASS MoCA, Arts Emerson, The Kennedy Center); Hansel and Gretel (a film for Houston Grand Opera); Afrofemononomy (PSNY); Anatomy of a Suicide (Atlantic Theater Company); Fefu and Her Friends (TFANA); Girls (Yale Rep.); Faust (Opera Omaha); Fabulation, Or the Reeducation of Undine (Signature Theatre); Thunderbodies and Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. (Soho Rep.); The House That Will Not Stand and Red Speedo (New York Theatre Workshop); Water by the Spoonful (Mark Taper Forum/CTG); Pipeline (Lincoln Center); The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World (Signature Theatre, Obie Award); Henry IV, Part One and Much Ado About Nothing (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); The Bluest Eye (The Guthrie); War (LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater and Yale Rep.); Salome (JACK); Hollow Roots (the Under the Radar Festival at The Public Theater). She is the recipient of the Drama League’s 2022 Founders Award for Excellence in Directing and is currently the resident director of Lincoln Center Theater. Lileana was named a 2021 Doris Duke Artist, a 2020 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist, and a 2018 United States Artists Fellow. She is a graduate of Princeton and received her MFA in directing from the Yale School of Drama.

For more information, please visit https://purplerainbroadway.com/

Hennepin Arts drives cultural and economic vitality in Minnesota through leadership of the dynamic Hennepin Theatre District in downtown Minneapolis and educational programming that reaches every area of the state. Its historic theatres — Orpheum, State, Pantages and Dudley Riggs — and event center at 900 Hennepin Avenue light up Hennepin Avenue with top-tier entertainment, including the best of Broadway and a wide variety of arts programming. Hennepin Arts is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Learn more at HennepinArts.org.

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