The upcoming first-ever Broadway revival of Ossie Davis' Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch has added an A-list roster of producers. The production, directed by Kenny Leon and starring Leslie Odom, Jr., is set to begin previews September 7 and open September 27 at the Music Box Theatre.
Newly announced for the producing team are Alan Alda, Nnamdi Asomugha, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Samuel L. Jackson, Phylicia Rashad, and Kerry Washington. They join a previously announced roster that includes Jeffrey Richards, Hunter Arnold, Leslie Odom Jr., Louise Gund, Bob Boyett, Willette and Manny Klausner, Salman Moudy Al-Rashid, Creative Partners Productions, Glenn Davis, Irene Gandy, Kayla Greenspan, Mark and David Golub Productions, Ken Greiner, John Gore Organization, Patrick W. Jones, Kenny Leon, Van Kaplan, Nicolette Robinson, and National Black Theatre.
Joining Odom in the cast will be Vanessa Bell Calloway (Dreamgirls) as Idella Landy, Billy Eugene Jones (Fat Ham) as Gitlow Judson, Noah Pyzik as Deputy, Noah Robbins (To Kill a Mockingbird) as Charlie Cotchipee, Jay O. Sanders as Ol’ Cap’n Cotchipee, Heather Alicia Simms as Missy Judson, Bill Timoney as Sheriff, and 2023 Tony Award nominee Kara Young (Cost of Living) as Lutiebelle Gussie Mae Jenkins.
The work follows a traveling preacher, Purlie, who returns to his Georgia hometown to save the local church and the cotton pickers working on Ol' Cap'n Cotchiepee's plantation. Davis both wrote and starred in the 1961 original Broadway production, appearing alongside his wife, Ruby Dee. Davis and Dee would go on to reprise their performances in a 1963 film adaptation titled Gone Are the Days! A musical adaptation premiered on Broadway in 1970, making Melba Moore a star (and a Tony winner) for her performance as Lutiebelle, famously singing the Gary Geld-Peter Udell score's most enduring hit, "I Got Love." The upcoming revival of Davis' original play will be its first on the Main Stem.