Prince’s Iconic Film ‘Purple Rain’ Set for Broadway Musical Adaptation

By Stu Kelly / January 8, 2024

In a groundbreaking announcement today acclaimed Broadway producer Orin Wolf revealed plans to adapt Prince‘s legendary film Purple Rain into a spectacular stage musical. The project, set to take center stage in Times Square, promises to be a riveting tribute to the iconic pop musician and bring Prince’s music’s magic to a new generation of fans.

Orin Wolf, the mastermind behind the Tony-winning adaptation of The Band’s Visit and the driving force behind the theatrical version of Buena Vista Social Club, has taken on the ambitious task of bringing Purple Rain to life on Broadway. The film marked Prince’s breakout as a movie idol and will now transform a live theater production featuring some of the artist’s most beloved songs.

The creative team behind this exciting venture includes playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant winner renowned for his family drama Appropriate, currently running on Broadway. Jacobs-Jenkins is set to craft the book for the musical, adding his unique touch to the narrative. The director at the helm of this production is Lileana Blain-Cruz, known for her revival of Thornton Wilder’s The Skin of Our Teeth, which boasted new material contributed by Jacobs-Jenkins and had a short but impactful run on Broadway in 2022.

Purple Rain, released in 1984, tells the story of an ambitious musician, the Kid, who grapples with challenges from his parents, his love interest, and his fellow musicians. The film earned an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score, became a cultural phenomenon, and solidified Prince’s status as a musical icon.

This Broadway adaptation is set to pay homage to the original film while infusing it with the energy and dynamism of live theater. Fans can expect a visual and auditory feast as the production aims to capture the essence of Prince’s electrifying performances.

The announcement has generated buzz and excitement, especially considering the success of previous musical adaptations of iconic films and musicians. With Prince’s timeless music and the creative prowess of Wolf, Jacobs-Jenkins, and Blain-Cruz, “Purple Rain” is poised to become a must-see event, promising a memorable experience for Broadway enthusiasts and Prince devotees alike.

As the lights of Broadway prepare to shine a vibrant shade of purple, the stage is set for Purple Rain to reign supreme once again, captivating audiences with the magic that made Prince an everlasting legend.

About the author

Stu Kelly