Bobby Z and Morris Hayes Will Be Prince Music Advisers on Upcoming Purple Rain Stage Musical | Playbill

Regional News Bobby Z and Morris Hayes Will Be Prince Music Advisers on Upcoming Purple Rain Stage Musical

The Minneapolis world premiere of the Broadway-aimed musical has set dates at the State Theatre.

The upcoming stage adaptation of Purple Rain has added longtime Prince music collaborators Bobby Z and Morris Hayes to its creative team, with both set to serve as Prince music advisers. Bobby Z was Prince's drummer for almost a decade, while Hayes was his keyboardist for nearly two decades. Bobby Z also appeared in the Purple Rain film.

The Broadway-aimed musical has also set dates for its previously announced world premiere run at Minneapolis, Minnesota's State Theatre. Previews will begin April 10 ahead of an April 30 opening night, with performances continuing through May 11 in the artist's home town.

“Bringing in Morris Hayes and Bobby Z, two of Prince’s longtime collaborators, was extremely important as we move forward with the pre-Broadway premiere of Purple Rain,” says Primary Wave Music Founder and CEO Larry Mestel in a statement. “Having worked with Prince for years, they will ensure this production holds true to Prince’s vision and continues his legacy. Matching their history and musical contributions with Prince, alongside the creative team already in place, will surely bring magic to the stage.”

Also joining the musical's creative team is Tony winner Jason Michael Webb, who will serve as music supervisor, arranger, and orchestrator.

As previously announced, Pulitzer finalist and Appropriate playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is penning the book, adapted from Albert Magnoli and William Blinn's screenplay for the 1984 film. Seven-time Grammy winner Prince starred in the original film, which also featured a soundtrack of songs written and performed by the late artist.

The project is being shepherded by director Lileana Blain-Cruz and producer Orin Wolf.

Purple Rain tells an original story of an up-and-coming Minneapolis rock musician. The movie was a hit with audiences upon release, though it is the film's soundtrack—which comprises nine songs written and performed by Prince—that has been the most enduring. His work on the songs and score earned Prince Grammy and Academy Awards, and the album has since been certified 13-times Platinum. Among the songs included are "When Doves Cry," "The Beautiful Ones," "Baby I'm a Star," and the title song. Prince died in 2016.

No casting has been revealed. The production is planning to hold open calls for all roles in Minneapolis, with dates and further information to be revealed in the coming weeks.

Jacobs-Jenkins previously contributed new material to Lincoln Center Theater's 2022 Broadway revival of The Skin of Our Teeth, also directed by Blain-Cruz. He's currently making a Tony-winning Broadway debut with Appropriate, playing the Belasco Theatre starring Sarah Paulson. His earlier works include The Comeuppance, Girls, Everybody, Gloria, and An Octoroon.


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