TV News

PBS’s Great Performances Adds Purlie Victorious to Its Lineup

Purlie Victorious will air on May 24 on PBS.

Leslie Odom, Jr. in <i>Great Performances: Purlie Victorious</i> (© Marc J. Franklin)
Leslie Odom, Jr. in Great Performances: Purlie Victorious
(© Marc J. Franklin)

Following a successful run on Broadway, Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch will join the Emmy-winning performing arts series Great Performances “Broadway’s Best” lineup in May. Starring Tony Award winner Leslie Odom, Jr., Great Performances: Purlie Victorious premieres Friday, May 24 on PBS,, and the PBS app. Purlie Victorious joins the previously announced Great Performances May schedule, which includes Hamlet, Audra McDonald at the London Palladium, and Rodgers & Hammerstein 80th Anniversary.

Purlie Victorious is a comedy about a Black preacher’s scheme to reclaim his inheritance and win back his church from a plantation owner. Written by Kennedy Center honoree Ossie Davis with direction by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun), this first Broadway revival was recorded live at the Music Box Theatre on January 24-26. Purlie Victorious originally debuted on Broadway in 1961.

The filmed production stars Leslie Odom, Jr. (Hamilton) in the title role alongside Billy Eugene Jones (Fat Ham) as Gitlow Judson, Jay O. Sanders (Girl from the North Country) as Ol’ Cap’n Cotchipee, Heather Alicia Simms as Missy Judson, Vanessa Bell Calloway as Idella Landy, Noah Robbins as Charlie Cotchipee, Noah Pyzik as The Deputy, Bill Timoney as The Sheriff, and Kara Young (Cost of Living) as Lutiebelle Gussie Mae Jenkins.

You can read TheaterMania’s review of the Broadway production here.