On 31 Jan­uary this year, the mu­si­cal The Color Pur­ple pre­miered in South Africa on The Nel­son Man­dela stage at Joburg The­atre with an all South African cast.

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On 31 Jan­uary this year, the mu­si­cal The Color Pur­ple pre­miered in South Africa on The Nel­son Man­dela stage at Joburg The­atre, with an all South African cast.

Dur­ing its first run, the South African pro­duc­tion of this Tony and GRAMMY Award-win­ning mu­si­cal wowed au­di­ences. For the tal­ented cast mem­bers, this jour­ney has been a ca­reer high­light. The­atre jour­nal­ists and au­di­ence mem­bers raved about the Jan­ice-Honey­man-di­rected pro­duc­tion. Due to pub­lic de­mand for hard-to-come-by tick­ets, Joburg The­atre and Ex­ec­u­tive Pro­ducer Bernard Jay have an­nounced that the show will give 32 ad­di­tional per­for­mances dur­ing Women’s Month in Au­gust 2018. The 31 000 ad­di­tional tick­ets are al­ready sell­ing quickly.

As arts jour­nal­ist Leon van Nierop stated in his re­view of the show: ‘This was a life-chang­ing and sweep­ing experience that will go down as one of the best and most thought­pro­vok­ing of the past few years… a bril­liant and touch­ing pro­duc­tion… This is a once-in-a-life­time experience… You will never for­get it.’

Seventeen of the orig­i­nal 20 cast mem­bers have signed on to reprise their roles, in­clud­ing ac­claimed per­form­ers Did­in­tle Khu­nou as Celie and Aubrey Poo as Mis­ter. To find the three nec­es­sary re­place­ment cast mem­bers, Honey­man, Jay and mu­si­cal di­rec­tor Rowan Bakker em­barked on an­other round of au­di­tions.

Af­ter sev­eral au­di­tions, the cre­ative team iden­ti­fied three highly tal­ented people to join the cast: Masego Moth­ibak­gomo, Ter­rence Ng­wila and Lebo Bo­role.

Well-known ac­tress and vo­cal­ist Lelo Ra­masi­mong, who ini­tially played the role of Darlene in The Color Pur­ple, will now be step­ping into the lead­ing role of Shug Avery. Ra­masi­mong cre­ated her own fan base dur­ing The Color Pur­ple’s first sea­son with her spine-chill­ing vo­cal­i­sa­tion of the role of Darlene. Now her fans can’t wait to experience her play the gutsy, blues singing star, Shug Avery.

Masego Moth­ibak­gomo takes over the role of Darlene from Lelo Ra­masi­mong. Moth­ibak­gomo ob­tained her Bach­e­lor of Arts in Drama from the Univer­sity of Pre­to­ria. Her the­atre work in­cludes roles in Dis­ney’s The Lion King (in which she played Nala and later the sto­ry­teller), Romeo and Juliet (Juliet), Alchemy of De­sire/Dead-Man’s Blues, di­rected by Ball State Univer­sity’s Wendy Saver-Mor­timer, and Seussi­cal. Moth­ibak­gomo is also em­bark­ing on a ca­reer as a singer/song­writer in the com­mer­cial mu­sic in­dus­try.

Ter­rence Ng­wila will be play­ing the role of Grady. He is trained in Latin dance, ba­sic tango, and jazz but he de­scribes him­self mostly as a hip-hop and dub­step dancer. Ng­wila was also trained and awarded an in­tro­duc­tory teach­ing cer­tifi­cate in Jazz-Ed by one of South Africa’s dancers on Broad­way, Pinto Ferreira. He was part of the award-win­ning South African soapie Gen­er­a­tions: The Legacy and worked with Mpumelelo Paul Groot­boom on The Pres­i­dent’s Man. Ng­wila played the lead in the pro­duc­tion 1606, which re­ceived a Stan­dard Bank Ova­tion Award at the Na­tional Arts Fes­ti­val in 2015. Other the­atre roles include Marikana – The Mu­si­cal, Free­dom the Mu­si­cal and Sophi­a­town – all at The South African State The­atre in Pre­to­ria.

Lebo Bo­role also joins the com­pany. Bo­role stud­ied drama and per­for­mance at the Na­tional School of the Arts and con­tin­ued her stud­ies at the Univer­sity of Wit­wa­ter­srand, where she re­ceived a Bach­e­lor of Arts de­gree. She has worked as a ra­dio per­son­al­ity at Trans World Ra­dio and per­formed in an a cap­pella mu­sic group called Black­lace. She toured Hong Kong with Dis­ney’s The Lion King as Nala. Bo­role was also cast as the lead in the mu­si­cal Milked Voice and is cur­rently fea­tured in the new pro­duc­tion Tsotsi, the Mu­si­cal in Cape Town.

‘I con­tinue to be thrilled with the lev­els of tal­ent dis­played by South African artists,’ says Honey­man. ‘Masego, Ter­rence and Lebo will fit beau­ti­fully into the won­der­ful fam­ily we have brought to­gether on stage for The Color Pur­ple.’

The Color Pur­ple will re­open at The Man­dela at Joburg The­atre on 7 Au­gust and will run un­til 2 Septem­ber 2018.

To se­cure your tick­ets now be­fore they’re sold out again, you can call 0861 670 670 or go on­line at www.joburgth­e­ – or book in per­son at Joburg The­atre’s box of­fice. The­atre pa­trons can also book on­line and pay at se­lected Pick n Pay stores.

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