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WMU grad stars in 'The Color Purple' at Miller

Sept. 7, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University graduate Dayna Jarae Dantzler stars as Celie in the hit musical "The Color Purple," on campus for a single performance at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 21, in Miller Auditorium.

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WMU graduate Dayna Dantzler, left, plays Celie in 'The Color Purple.'Based on the classic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker and film by Steven Spielberg, "The Color Purple" is an unforgettable and inspiring story of a woman named Celie, who finds the strength to triumph over adversity and discover her unique voice in the world. With a Grammy-nominated score featuring gospel, jazz, pop and blues, "The Color Purple" is a musical about hope and the healing power of love.

Michael Kuchwara of the Associated Press described the production as "A roof-raising story of triumph," and Richard Corliss of Time Magazine said, "[It is] a soaring, epic tale. It made a joyful noise in my heart." Elysa Gardner from USA Today raved, "Pure heart! It celebrates the inspiring relationships of faith and love, a Broadway hit!"

This version of "The Color Purple," produced by Phoenix Entertainment and helmed by Stephen Kane and Michael McFadden, is the next phase in the life of the groundbreaking Broadway musical produced by Scott Sanders. The original Broadway musical opened Dec. 1, 2005, and was nominated for 11 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. It ran for more than two years on Broadway, followed by a three-year First National Tour.

"The Color Purple" is directed by Gary Griffin and features a libretto by Pulitzer Prize-winner Marsha Norman; music and lyrics by Grammy Award-winning composers and lyricists Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray; and choreography by Donald Byrd. Rounding out the creative team are: Tony Award-winner John Lee Beatty, sets; Paul Tazewell, costumes; Tony Award-winner Brian MacDevitt, lighting; Craig Cassidy, sound design; Steven M. Bishop, orchestrations and arrangements; and Jasper Grant, music director.


"The Color Purple" at Miller Auditorium is part of the Broadway Plus Series. Tickets are on sale now and range from $25 to $53. They can be purchased by calling (269) 387-2300 or (800) 228-9858, online at millerauditorium.com, or by visiting the Miller Auditorium Ticket Office. Group discounts are available at (269) 387-2312.

For more information on "The Color Purple," visit the show's official site at colorpurple.com.

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Media contact: Bethany Gauthier, (269) 387-2245, bethany.gauthier@wmich.edu

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