“A glorious good-time musical for all good people everywhere!” That’s what the Black Theatre Troupe calls “Purlie,” the musical that runs Friday, May 2, through Sunday, May 18, at the Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center, 1333 E. Washington St. in downtown Phoenix. It has also been called Broadway’s first gospel musical.
With book by Ossie Davis, Phillip Rose and Peter Udell, “Purlie” is based on the groundbreaking play “Purlie Victorious” by Ossie Davis and was the winner of two Tony Awards, a Drama Desk Award and a Theatre World Award. The play’s musical arrangements are by Gary Geld, and lyrics are by Peter Udell. The Black Theatre Troupe production will be directed and choreographed by Laurie Trygg.
The story centers around Purlie Victorious, who left his home and family in his youth. When he returns to Georgia to collect his inheritance, he encounters nothing but obstacles. While he does everything he can to get what’s rightfully his, love blooms and faith swoons.
In operation since 1970, Black Theatre Troupe seeks to provide an important cultural bridge between races and ethnicities through its productions. It makes use of national, regional and local talent to entertain, enlighten and educate a diverse, multicultural audience and to provide exposure to black cultural and ideology.
To purchase tickets to “Purlie,” call the box office at (602) 258-8129 or purchase online.