Casting announced for `Purple’ tour

Tickets go on sale Sunday, Aug. 19 for The Color Purple, the Oprah Winfrey-produced musical based on Alice Walker’s novel of the same name.

Jeannette Bayardelle (below, center), who comes from the Broadway cast (the show is a Broadway hit — it opened last December at the Broadway Theatre), will play lead character Celie. Felicia P. Fields, Tony nominated in the role of Sofia (Winfrey’s role in the Spielberg movie), reprises the role for the tour. Michelle Williams (below, left), formerly of Destiny’s Child, plays jook joint singer Shug Avery. And Celie’s sister, Nettie, will be played by Oakland native and former “American Idol” contestant LaToya London.

The tour opens Oct. 9 at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco and continues through Dec. 9.

Also in the cast are Rufus Bonds Jr. (Mister), Stu James (Harpo) and Stephanie St. James (a Santa Rosa native as Squeak).

Tickets range from $35 to $99. Call (415) 512-7770 or visit

You can also check out a “backstage at The Color Purple” podcast here.

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