Alan Alda Visits Broadway’s Purlie Victorious Revival, 62 Years After Starring in the Original (Exclusive Details)

Pictured: (L-R) Leslie Odom Jr. and Alan Alda backstage at 'Purlie Victorious' on Oct. 3, 2023
Leslie Odom Jr. (left) and Alan Alda photographed backstage at ‘Purlie Victorious’ on Oct. 3, 2023.Picture:

Bruce Glikas/WireImage

The forged of the Broadway revival of Purlie Victorious: A Non-Accomplice Romp By way of the Cotton Patchhad fairly a deal with once they have been graced with a uncommon look from one of many stars who helped convey the present’s authentic manufacturing to life: Alan Alda.

PEOPLE has unique particulars on Alda’s look on the Music Field Theatre in New York Metropolis on Tuesday. The 87-year-old actor — who was identified with Parkinson’s in 2015 — is a part of the brand new manufacturing’s producing staff alongside a bevy of well-known names together with Samuel L. Jackson, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Phylicia Rashad, Kerry Washington and Tony winner Leslie Odom, Jr., who leads the manufacturing as Purlie, and his spouse, actress Nicolette Robinson.

The comedy, penned by Ossie Davis, tells the story of Reverend Purlie Victorious Judson, a charismatic touring clergyman who returns to segregated Georgia with a scheme to save lots of his rural hometown church and his inheritance. Along with Alda, the unique manufacturing additionally starred Davis as Purlie in addition to his spouse, Emmy and Grammy winner Ruby Dee.

Pictured: (L-R) Heather Alicia Simms, Kara Young, Alan Alda and Vanessa Bell Calloway backstage at 'Purlie Victorious' on Oct. 3, 2023
Heather Alicia Simms (left), Kara Younger, Alan Alda and Vanessa Bell Calloway photographed backstage at ‘Purlie Victorious’ on Oct. 3, 2023.

Bruce Glikas/WireImage

Davis and Dee’s spirit was sensed by Alda on Tuesday night time, he informed the forged backstage after taking within the efficiency with his longtime spouse, Arlene.

“He was emotional,” an onlooker tells PEOPLE. “He was sharing just a few tales to them from his time within the authentic manufacturing, and informed Leslie and [actress Kara Young] that they have been so dedicated to the play, he may really feel Ossie and Ruby there in an enormous presence.”

Photos captured the star smiling as he enthusiastically posed for selfies and embraced them. “The forged was thrilled,” the supply says. “He informed them how vital the play was, particularly now on this world, mentioned he was going to convey household again. His spouse was taking cellular phone video on her cellphone, too, which was cute.”

Pictured: (L-R) Noah Robbins and Alan Alda backstage at 'Purlie Victorious' on Oct. 3, 2023
Noah Robbins (left) and Alan Alda photographed backstage at ‘Purlie Victorious’.

Bruce Glikas/WireImage

Noah Robbins — who performs plantation proprietor son Charlie Cotchipee within the revival, the position Alda originated — informed PEOPLE about his expertise lastly assembly the veteran actor. Previous to Tuesday, Robbins and Alda had solely spoken on the cellphone, however that modified after the latter’s shock look.

“Having something in widespread with Alan Alda is an honor. Having this position, on this present, in widespread with him is a present past phrases,” Robbins mentioned about speaking with Alda in-person. “He’s an absolute treasure, and assembly and conversing with him was a spotlight of my life.”

Leslie Odom, Jr. and Kara Young in PURLIE VICTORIOUS
Leslie Odom, Jr. and Kara Younger in ‘Purlie Victorious’.

Marc J. Franklin

Purlie Victorious opened to rave opinions on Sept. 27. The manufacturing, directed by Kenny Leon, marks the return of Odom, Jr. to Broadway, seven years after his Tony-winning efficiency in Hamilton.

When the unique manufacturing started in 1961, Purlie Victorious was praised as being groundbreaking for its satire on racism in America and drew the eye of well-known faces and politicians on the time, who flooded to the theatre to see it. The play ended up being nominated for one Tony Award within the class greatest featured actor in a play because of Alda’s costar Godfrey Cambridge’s work.

To mark the present’s one centesimal efficiency, famed civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. attended and celebrated with performers.

Martin Luther King, Jr. at Purlie Victorious in 1962
Martin Luther King, Jr. (heart). with the forged of ‘Purlie Victorious’ in 1962.

Thomas E. Poag

In the present day’s revitalization of Purlie Victorious is notable for the truth that it’s the primary time that the unique present has been carried out for the reason that it closed in 1962 after 261 performances. A filmed model of the play, re-titled Gone Are the Days!, was launched in 1963 and tapped most of the debut forged members, together with Alda.

In 1970, Purlie Victorious was became a musical titled Purlie, however had little involvement from Davis. Purlie was usually well-received regardless of this, garnering nominations for 5 Tony Awards together with greatest musical.

Purlie Victorious: A Non-Accomplice Romp By way of the Cotton Patch is now open on the Music Field Theatre. For tickets and extra info, go to

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