Based on the novel by Alice Walker, the show is written by Marsha Norman and features a score by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray. It was nominated for 11 Tony Awards, with original star LaChanze taking home the trophy for Best Actress in a Musical. Oprah Winfrey is the show's lead producer.
The Color Purple stars Zonya Love as Celie, Chaka Khan as Sofia, Bebe Winans as Harpo, Lakisha Jones as Church Soloist and Sofia (at matinees), Elisabeth Withers-Mendes as Shug Avery, Alton Fitzgerald White as Mister, Montego Glover as Nettie, and Krisha Marcano as Squeak.
TheaterMania's original review said: "All those involved -- and that includes you, Oprah! -- should consider themselves winners for bringing Walker's work to the stage so smartly."