Almost 40 years after its release, the legacy of Purple Rain lives on. Now, the feature film that propelled Prince to stardom will have a second life. Producer Orin Wolf has announced that he is developing a stage version of Purple Rain, and has already enlisted some theatre hard-hitters for this task.
Purple Rain, which came out in 1984, tells the story of The Kid, an emerging musician in the Minneapolis rock scene. Escaping a complicated family life, he navigates the ups and downs of being a musician—including a romance with a singer and dealing with a new rival. The movie soundtrack, which includes hits such as “When Doves Cry,” “Let's Go Crazy,” and “Purple Rain,” has been considered by Rolling Stone as one of the “Greatest Albums of All Time.”
While translating such a cultural icon to the stage sounds like a daunting task, Wolf is no stranger to movies-turned-musicals. In 2016, he worked on the stage adaptation of The Band's Visit (2007), which would go to win 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
For the stage version of Purple Rain, Wolf has already enlisted playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, who is a a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, to write the book. Director Lileana Blain-Cruz, a Tony Award nominee for The Skin of Our Teeth at Lincoln Center, has also joined the creative team.
Not many details are known at the moment, but they are sure to come out as the developmental stages progress. Most musicals have an out-of-town or an off-Broadway tryout before heading to the Great White Way. Meanwhile, you can revisit the original film, which is available for rent on Amazon.
Producer Orin Wolf has announced that he is developing a stage musical of Purple Rain, the film that propelled Prince to stardom.
Revisit the trailer for the original Purple Rain below: