This Prince Film, Album Is Headed for the Stage

1984's 'Purple Rain' will be adapted into a musical that's a Broadway hopeful
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2024 7:51 AM CST
This Prince Film, Album Is Headed for the Stage
In this Feb. 18, 1985, file photo, Prince performs at the Forum in Inglewood, California.   (AP Photo/Liu Heung Shing, File)

It's been four decades since Prince's Purple Rain first appeared on the big screen, along with an accompanying album, and now it's headed for the big stage. Producer Orin Wolf announced on Monday that the prolific singer-songwriter's 1984 film would be adapted into a stage musical, with apparent hopes that the production will head to Broadway, per People. The plot is said to revolve around "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."

The original screenplay is penned by Albert Magnoli—who Variety notes also directed the film—and William Blinn, with a book by two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. The director is set to be Tony nominee Lileana Blain-Cruz. Songs from the film's soundtrack, which will likely find their way into the musical, include the title song, as well as "Let's Go Crazy," "I Would Die 4 U," and "When Doves Cry." The album ended up earning Prince an Academy Award for original song score, as well as two Grammys and three American Music Awards.

"We can't think of a more fitting tribute than to honor Prince and the Purple Rain legacy with this stage adaptation of the beloved story," the musical's producers say in a statement. The New York Times notes it's not clear when the initial production will happen, or where it will be shown, but that "most musicals have runs either off-Broadway or outside New York before braving the high costs and intense glare of Broadway." Prince died in 2016 of a drug overdose at the age of 57. (More Prince stories.)

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