Hennepin Theatre Trust to host world premiere of Purple Rain stage adaptation
Since the 1997 international debut of Disney’s The Lion King, Hennepin Avenue has made a name for itself in the pantheon of Broadway as a destination for the pre-Broadway run of critically acclaimed musicals.
Today, producer Orin Wolf announced that the pre-Broadway world premiere stage adaptation of Prince’s legendary film and album, Purple Rain, is coming to Minneapolis. The historic State Theatre will host Purple Rain and the era-defining music of Prince in the heart of his hometown in the spring of 2025, 40 years after Purple Rain’s original big screen debut.
“We are thrilled to present Purple Rain in its hometown next year before it makes it way to Broadway,” said Todd Duesing, Hennepin Theatre Trust president and CEO. “As the birthplace of the legendary musician and songwriter, Minnesota will see everybody literally dancing in the streets in celebration of seeing Purple Rain transform from screen to stage.”
As previously announced, this stage adaptation will feature a book by two-time Pulitzer Prize-finalist Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, based on the original screenplay by Albert Magnolia and William Blin; music and lyrics by prince; direction by Tony Award-nominee Lileana Blain-Cruz.
Purple Rain, the original motion picture, is a cultural phenomenon, held as one of the greatest musical films ever made, grossing close to $100 million worldwide and winning the Academy Award for Best Original Score. In 2019, the Library of Congress added the film to the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”
The film follows The Kid, originally portrayed by Prince himself in his film debut, who is an up-and-coming rock musician in the Minneapolis club scene, as he contends with a tumultuous home environment, a rival band and a budding romance. Released in July 1984 by Warner Bros, the film was originated by Prince, directed by Albert Magnoli and written by Magnoli and William Blinn.
The accompanying soundtrack by Prince and The Revolution was released in June 1984. The album Purple Rain received two Grammys, three American Musical Awards, two Brit Awards and an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score. The album remained at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for 24 weeks. It is certified 13x Platinum by the Recording Industry of America and has sold over 25 million copies worldwide.
Prince is widely regarded as one of the greatest musicians of all time. Singer, songwriter, musician and music producer, he received countless awards, nominations and accolades for his music, performance and skill as a multi-instrumentalist, frequently playing all or most of the instruments in his recordings. His music pioneered the Minneapolis sound, and we are thrilled that the State Theatre was chosen for the musical’s pre-Broadway premiere.
Purple Rain will be part of the 2024-2025 Bank of America Broadway on Hennepin season. Season subscriptions are the best way to lock in your seats and will be on sale this spring; head to HennepinTheatreTrust.org/Broadway to learn more.