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24 June 2024

Prince ‘Purple Rain’ Musical Previewed

Allstar Picture Library Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo
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The production team of the upcoming Prince musical, Purple Rain, have given fans attending Celebration 2024 a preview of the work-in-progress stage show.

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Theatre director Lileana Blain-Cruz, book writer Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, music director Jason Michael Webb and Revolution drummer Bobby Z (who is musical adviser on the show) took part in an hour-long panel discussion that also gave fans a preview of three of the musical numbers.

“I’m trying to get you hyped and excited,” exclaimed Blain-Cruz at the Minnesota State Theatre in Minneapolis on Saturday (June 22). “I’m trying to get a motorcycle on stage!”

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The musical will open in spring 2025, and Blain-Cruz promised to the “epic” nature of a Met Opera production “to something as sublime as Purple Rain.”

“It is an opera — it’s a tragedy and a triumph,” agreed Bobby Z. “I got to see Prince build a revolution from 1977 to the Parade album [in 1986].”

It was also revealed that the musical numbers in the show wouldn’t be limited to songs from the Purple Rain soundtrack, but would be taken from Prince’s entire catalogue, including songs that he wrote for other artists.

The crowd were treated to musical director Webb performing a version of Take Me With U in a duet with Rachel Webb. Performers portraying The Time frontman Morris Day and his sidekick Jerome Benton also performed versions of The Time’s Jungle Love and 777-9311. And finally, Rachel Webb returned to the stage with two other performers for a run through of Shelia E hit, The Glamorous Life.

Last week, a brand-new Dolby ATMOS mix of Prince and the Revolution’s iconic 1984 album, Purple Rain, was released on streaming services. Discovery will reissue a newly restored 4K version of the Purple Rain motion picture on June 25, with a limited theatrical run scheduled to start on 3 July.

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