Monday, May 15, 2006

Oprah skips sweeps to tout 'Color Purple'

More news from the League of American Theatres and Producers conference in NYC (delayed by transmission problems)

We previously had the good fortune to see "The Color Purple" while it was in previews.

In a dazzling May 11 lunchtime of Tony voters and potential tour venue representatives, the show's producers brought out the ultimate trump card: Oprah!

Plus the entire cast of the show.

Oprah lobbied hard to get her role in the Spielberg movie. And now she's lobbying hard for this musical whose marquee reads "Oprah Winfrey presents The Color Purple."

(It's not an insignificant push. The same day as the luncheon, The New York Times ran an article about her endorsement clout. "Getting on Oprah is like winning the lottery," one company PR person said. "Because her audience really trusts her, if Oprah or her producers sincerely fall in love with some product or person, the results can be spectacular.")

Here's what Oprah had to say about "The Color Purple" -- the Alice Walker book, the Steven Spielberg movie and the Broadway musical:

I passed out copies to all my friends. I told them, 'if you don't read this, you are no longer my friend.'

The Color Purple is about transformation. It is transcendent in its ability to touch the human chord of validation. Everybody is looking for validation. 'Do you hear me?' 'Do I matter?'

What people realize through these characters is 'I do matter.'

We need more vehicles that say hope is possible. I'm grateful to be part of something that says and does that.

We like your votes, but ultimately it's beyond awards, votes and critics. It's about how people feel and are moved and touched to do more in their own lives.

I don't believe in luck. I believe there is a divine current moving through all our lives.

- Michael K

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