Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ Is Being Adapted Into Broadway Musical

January 10, 2024 4:07 pm

[Source: US Weekly]

Prince’s iconic Purple Rain is being adapted for Broadway.

The 1984 film, which marked the musician’s acting debut, grossed close to $100 million worldwide and won the Academy Award for best original score.

The soundtrack was certified 13-times platinum and won two Grammys: Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media.

Article continues after advertisement

“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, chairman of The NorthStar Group, and Larry Mestel, founder and CEO of Primary Wave Music, said in a statement to Us Weekly.

“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.”

Set in Prince’s hometown, Minneapolis, Purple Rain told the fictional story of an aspiring guitarist named The Kid who escaped his troubled home life by playing with his band at the local First Avenue nightclub.

In addition to Prince, the movie starred Apollonia Kotero as his love interest, Clarence E. Williams III as his abusive father, and his group, The Time, led by Morris Day. Prince performed in the film with his band, The Revolution, who recorded the soundtrack.

Purple Rain debuted in July 1984. In 2019, the film was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

The stage version will feature a score by Prince, who died in April 2016 of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. He was 57. The book is based on the original screenplay of Purple Rain, written by Albert Magnoli and William Blinn.

Details about the timing and location of the world premiere will be announced at a later date.

​​Purple Rain became Prince’s first album to reach number one on the Billboard 200. The album spent 24 consecutive weeks atop the Billboard 200. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2011.

The album and film also inspired the Purple Rain tour consisting of 98 concerts from 1984-85 featuring Sheila E. and Apollonia 6 as Prince’s opening acts.

Before the album was released in 1984, Prince performed a benefit concert for the Minnesota Dance Theatre at the First Avenue nightclub in August 1983. Keyboard player Lisa Coleman told The Guardian in 2017 that Prince surprised the band by telling them that the “Purple Rain” song would be recorded for the album live at the show.

She recalled of the historic moment, “Prince was really excited and kept pumping us up: ‘We’re making history tonight.’”