Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ Is Being Adapted Into a Stage Play

Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ Is Being Adapted Into a Stage Play

Music

Baby, he’s still a star! Nearly 40 years after Prince unleashed the original Purple Rain film and soundtrack album, the era-defining story is headed to the stage — and possibly The Great White Way.

A stage adaptation of Purple Rain is under development, with a world premiere in the works, as per The Hollywood Reporter on Monday (Jan. 8). The adaptation is set to feature a score by the late Prince, with a book by Pulitzer Prize-finalist Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, who is currently enjoying the Broadway run of his acclaimed drama Appropriate. Jacobs-Jenkins’ book will be based on the original Purple Rain screenplay, which was written by Albert Magnoli (who also directed the original film) and William Blinn. Lileana Blain-Cruz — who picked up a Tony nomination in 2022 for best direction of a play (The Skin of Our Teeth) — is set to direct, with Tony winner Orin Wolf on production duties.

The film version of Purple Rain arrived in 1984, starring Prince as The Kid, a burgeoning Minneapolis rock musician who trudges his way through rival bands, fleeting romances, and a gritty home life. To date, the film has grossed nearly $70 million worldwide, and, in 1984, it won the Academy Award for best original song score.

The accompanying soundtrack of the same name was a blockbuster success, spending 24 weeks atop the Billboard 200. The set spawned several Billboard Hot 100 hits, including “When Doves Cry” (No. 1, five weeks), “Let’s Go Crazy” (No. 1, two weeks), “Take Me With U” (No. 25), “I Would Die 4 U” (No. 8) and “Purple Rain” (No. 2). Purple Rain currently boasts a 13x platinum certification from the RIAA in recognition of over 13 million copies shipped in the U.S. alone. In addition, the soundtrack won a Grammy for bet rock performance by a duo or group with vocal and best score soundtrack for visual media.

“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“We are thrilled with our Broadway partners and creative team, who are bringing a theatricality to the film’s original fictional story. 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.”

Prince has earned 20 top 10 entries on the Billboard 200, including the chart-toppers Around the World In A Day (1985, three weeks), Batman (1989, six weeks), The Very Best of Prince (2001, one week), 3121 (2006, one week), and, of course, Purple Rain. On the Hot 100, the legendary musician has collected five No. 1 singles from 19 top 10 entries, including “Cream” (two weeks), “Kiss” (two weeks) and “Batdance” (one week).

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