Musical - Original

Broadway Theatre (March 15, 1970 - December 15, 1970)
Winter Garden Theatre (December 16, 1970 - March 13, 1971)
ANTA Playhouse (March 15, 1971 - November 06, 1971)
Data not verified
  • First Preview:
  • Opening Date: March 15, 1970
  • Closing Date: November 6, 1971
  • Previews: 28
  • Performances: 688

Lyrics: Peter Udell

Book: Peter Udell, Ossie Davis, Philip Rose

Music: Gary Geld


A black preacher returns to his hometown to open a church, outwitting a segregationist plantation owner to make it happen, in this musical adaptation of Ossie Davis' play Purlie Victorious.


Opening Night Cast

Cleavon Little Purlie
Melba Moore Lutiebelle
John Heffernan Ol' Cap'n
C. David Colson Charlie
Sherman Hemsley Gitlow
Linda Hopkins Church Soloist
Helen Martin Idella
Novella Nelson Missy
See Full Opening Night Cast

Opening Night Production Credits

  Ossie Davis Book
  Philip Rose Book
  Peter Udell Book
  Gary Geld Music
  Peter Udell Lyrics
  Philip Rose Director
See Full Opening Night Production credits
See More


Drama Desk Award

Year Category Name Winner/Nominee
1970 Outstanding Performance Melba Moore Winner
1970 Outstanding Performance Cleavon Little Winner

Theatre World

Year Category Name Winner/Nominee
1970 Theatre World Award Melba Moore Winner

Tony Award

Year Category Name Winner/Nominee
1970 Actor in a Musical Cleavon Little Winner
1970 Choreography Louis Johnson Nominee
1970 Direction of a Musical Philip Rose Nominee
1970 Featured Actress in a Musical Melba Moore Winner
1970 Musical   Nominee
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