Wednesday, February 1, 2023

B'way Update: Leslie Odom, Jr. to Star in Purlie Victorious

Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee
in Purlie Victorious
Tony winner Leslie Odom, Jr. (Hamilton) will star in a revival of Ossie Davis' comedy Purlie Victorious, set for a Broadway run in late summer 2023. Tony winner Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun, Ohio State Murders, Topdog/Underdog) will stage the play which premiered on Broadway in 1961 starring Davis and his wife and frequent collaborator Ruby Dee. Subtitled "A Non-Confederate Romp through the Cotton Patch," Purlie Victorious is a satire on stereotypical visions of a mythic Old South centering on the travelling preacher Purlie Victorious Judson who returns to his home town to save the community's church and foil the bigoted plantation owner, Ol' Cap'n Cotchipee'. A film version entitled Gone Are the Days was released in 1963 with the 1961 Broadway cast repeating their roles including Davis, Dee, Godfrey Cambridge, Beah Richards, Sorrell Booke, and Alan Alda in his film debut. A 1970 musical version, titled Purlie, ran for 668 performances and won Tonys for Cleavon Little and Melba Moore's performances.

“Ossie Davis gave the American theater an American hero in Purlie Judson,” said Leslie Odom, Jr. “I have loved this piece and its author, Mr. Davis, for well over half my life. His writing and acting, his integrity, the commitment he and his brilliant wife made to nurturing young talent, and the example of citizenship have meant so much to me! I

Leslie Odom, Jr. in Hamilton
Credit: Joan Marcus

am thrilled beyond measure to be part of this revival company. Mr. Davis’s pages are full of joy and rhythm, laughter and hope. We will endeavor to live up to the demands of a challenging text and the legacy of a great American.”

The Dee-Davis family stated the following: “The Dee-Davis family is so excited that Purlie Victorious will return to Broadway. Dad’s genius with words was never more evident than in the voice of Purlie Victorious Judson, who takes a humorous look at a serious subject.  His call to justice is timeless and needed now more than ever. Thanks to producers Jeffrey Richards, Hunter Arnold, and Leslie Odom, Jr., and to director Kenny Leon for bringing Reverend Purlie to his feet once again. With Leslie Odom, Jr. in the role, Purlie will rise with magnificence.”

2022-23 Broadway/Off-Broadway Schedule
Feb. 2--Endgame (Irish Repertory Theater)
Feb. 9--Pictures from Home (Studio 54)
Feb. 16--The Wanderers (Roundabout/Laura Pels)
Feb. 23--The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window (BAM)
Feb. 27--Elyria (Atlantic Theater Company)
Feb. 28--The Seagull/Woodstock NY (The New Group/Signature Theatre)
March 1--the best we could (a family tragedy) (MTC/City Center Stage I)
March 5--The Trees (Playwrights Horizons)
March 8--Crumbs from the Table of Joy (Keen Company/Theater Row)
March 9--A Doll's House (Hudson)
March 13--The Coast Starlight (Lincoln Center/Mitzi Newhouse)
March 15--The Harder They Come (Public)
March 16--Parade (Bernard B. Jacobs)
March 19--Dancin' (Music Box)
March 23--Bad Cinderella (Imperial)
March 26--Sweeney Todd (Lunt-Fontanne)
March 30--Life of Pi (Schoenfeld)
April 4--Shucked (Nederlander)
April 11--Regretfully So the Birds Are (Playwrights Horizons)
April 12--Fat Ham (AA)
April 13--Camelot (Lincoln Center/Vivian Beaumont)
April 17--Room (James Earl Jones)
April 19--Peter Pan Goes Wrong (Barrymore)
April 20--The Thanksgiving Play (Second Stage/Hayes)
April 23--Prime Facie (Golden)
April 24--Good Night, Oscar (Belasco)
April 25--Summer, 1976 (MTC/Samuel J. Friedman) 
April 25--Outer Critics Circle nominations announced
April 26--New York, New York (St. James)
April 29--Fuenta Ovejuna (TFANA/Polonsky Shakespeare Center)
May 2--Tony Award Nominations Announced
May 4--Primary Trust (Roundabout/Laura Pels) (previews begin; opening TBA)
May 5-- Days of Wine and Roses (Atlantic Theatre Company) (previews begin; opening TBA)
May 16--King James (MTC/City Center Stage I)
May 16--Outer Critics Winners announced
May 19--Drama League Awards (Ziegfeld Ballroom)
May 25--Outer Critics Circle Awards (Bruno Walter Auditorium/Lincoln Center Library)
May--Wet Brain (Playwrights Horizons)
June 11--Tony Awards (United Palace)
June 22--Once Upon a One More Time (Marquis)
June 28--Hamlet (Delacorte/Shakespeare in the Park) 
July 9--Orpheus Descending (TFANA/Polonsky Shakespeare Center)
July 20--Here Lies Love (Broadway)
Aug. 3--Back to the Future (Marquis)

2022-23 (no dates or theaters yet)
Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death, Black Orpheus, Come Fall in Love--The DDLJ Musical, Pal Joey, Square One

Winter 2022-23
Dark Disabled Stories (Public)

Spring 2023 
Good Bones (Public)
Shadow/Land (Public)

Summer 2023
Purlie Victorious

Fall 2023
Merrily We Roll Along
Poor Yella Rednecks (MTC/City Center Stage II)

2023, 2024 and Beyond
Game of Thrones, The Great Gatsby, Frida, the Musical, High Noon, The Mousetrap

Future--The Devil Wears Prada; Ella: An American Miracle; Everybody's Talking About Jamie; The Griswolds' Broadway Vacation; Harmony; I Need That; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; The Karate Kid; Lempicka; Back to the Future; Our Town; The Nanny; The Normal Heart/The Destiny of Me; Sing Street; Smash; Soul Train; What a Wonderful World; The Who's Tommy; Working Girl

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