Anastacia McCleskey Joins The Muny’s THE COLOR PURPLE as Celie; Full Cast, Design and Production Team Announced

Muny today announced the full cast, design and production crew for Muny’s premiere August 3-9, 2022.

“Alice Walker’s extraordinary novel is the perfect source for what becomes an extraordinary Broadway musical,” commented Mike Isaacson, Mooney’s artistic director and executive producer. “It’s going to be an exciting Muny premiere that brings such power, beauty and joy to audiences.”

Join previously announced Tracy Beeze (Sugar Avery), Nacia Thomas (Netti), Evan Tyrone Martin (Mister), Gilbert Dommary (Harpo) and Nee May Michelle Haskins (Sofia) stars Anastasia McClesky (Cely) in the main cast. In addition, Jade Jones joined the company as Sofia’s alternate.

Members of the company include Jos N. Banks, Shantel Cribbs, Erica Durham, Duane Martin Foster, Damon J. Gillespie, Kennedy Holmes, Omega Jones, Sage Lee, Alicia Revé Like, Melanie Loren, Danea Osseni, Grant James Reynolds, Paris Porché Richardson , Amber Alexandria Rose, Alexis Roston, Owen Scales, Rodney Thompson and Sean Walton. The Muny Youth Orchestra will also join the company.

As previously announced, The Purple is directed by Lili-Anne Brown, choreographed by Breon Arzell, musical director Jermaine Hill, and associate choreographer Carolette Phillips.

The design team leading the production included set design by Arnel Sancianco, costume design by Samantha C. Jones, lighting design by Heather Gilbert, sound design by John Shivers and David Patridge, video design by Paul Deziel, wig design and production by Kelley Jordan Stage Manager Jhanaë Bonnick.

main casting

Anastacia McCleskey (Celi) is excited to make her debut on The Muny. She recently starred in the world premiere of Ain’t Misbehavin’ (New York Times Critics’ Choice, Barrington Stages), Afterwords the Musical (Joe, Fifth Avenue Theatre), Annie Live! (Sophie/Mrs. Greer/Perkins, NBC), Caroline, or Change (Dotty, Broadway Revival) and Waitress (Nurse Norma, Broadway). The Good Fight with Dr. Phylicia Elder (NBC) and Opal (CBS) in New Amsterdam. McCleskey has appeared in seven Broadway hits, one West End hit, several off-Broadway hits, a slew of regional theaters, and has sung with and provided backing vocals for many artists. During the pandemic shutdown, she and her brothers started a podcast called Them 3 Podcast. McCleskey was nominated for the Helen Hayes Award, the Alliance Award and the Odelko Award.

Tracey Beeze (Sugar Avery) is so excited to make her Muny debut! She was last seen playing Carol in a Midtown New York encore! Making Tap Kid (director Kenny Leon). You may have seen her in Frozen (Burda) on Broadway before the world closed. Other Broadway credits include Crap! Honeymoon, Holler If Ya Hear Me, Memphis, The Wedding Singer, Good Vibrations and Hairspray in Vegas. National Tour: All Shook Up (Lorraine). Off-Broadway: Shining Babes, Two Gentlemen of Verona and Pirates of Penzance. Movies/TV: Madness: The Series; Baker & Beauty, God Friended Me, Rising, House of Cards, Law & Order: SVU; Spins Into Butter and Camp.

Nasia Thomas (Nettie) was recently seen as radio number one on the Broadway revival of Caroline or Change. She also recently played Cathy in the past five years of streaming versions of the Out of the Box drama. Muny: Smokey Joe’s Café; hairspray. Broadway: Not Too Proud: The Life and Times of Temptation and Beautiful Little Eva: The Carol King Musical. National Tour: Beautiful. Region: Not Too Proud: The Life and Times of Temptation (Berkeley Repertory, Kennedy Centre, Centre Theatre Group, Mirvish in Toronto), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (TUTS). TV: 4400 (Kenya). Musical Theater BFA from Elon ’15, Governor’s Academy of Arts ’11.

Evan Tyrone Martin (Mister) is excited to be making his Muny debut! Most recently, Evan appeared in Blues in the Night (Porchlight Musical Theatre, opposite star Felicia P. Fields). Additional credits: Jim’s digital reading of Zora Neale-Hurston’s musical Spunk at the Roundabout Theatre, directed by Lili-Anne Brown, Queer Eye: The Musical Parody (Karamo, The Second City), The Black Clown (Ensemble, ART /Lincoln Center’s 2019 Mostly Mozart Festival), Hair (Hud, Mercury Theatre), Jesus Christ Superstar (Jesus, BTAA nominated, Paramount Theatre), Dreamgirls (Curtis, BTAA nominated) and Far From Heaven (Raymond, Jeff Nominated, Porchlight Musical Theatre), Disney’s The Little Mermaid (King Triton, Arkansas Play). Evan has worked with the Goodspeed Opera House, Steppenwolf Garage, Arkansas Shakespeare Theater, Florida Rep. and many others. He also starred in the hit comedies “Unforgettable: Falling in Love with Nat Kincole” and “An Unforgettable Nat Kincole Christmas.”

Gilbert Domally (Harpo) is a Chicago actor. Some of his credits include Boys in Chorus (Steppenwolf Theater), Boys in Chorus (Yale Repertoire), Purple (Drury Lane Theater), Totally Bend (Haven Theater), Memphis, Dreamgirls (Porch Music Theater), Hairspray, Disney The Little Mermaid, Jesus Christ Superstar, Elf, Cabaret, Legally Blonde (Paramount Theater), Madagascar (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), Next to Normal (Boho Theater), Desa Rose and Wild Party (Chicago Bally Vic).

Nicole Michelle Haskins (Sofia) is an actor, writer, director and artist. Chicago: The U.S. premieres of Purple (Drury Lane), Hopeless Dedication (Piven Theater), Caroline, or Change (Firebrand Theater). Represented by Shirley Hamilton. Trained at Steppenwolf (Acting Fellow 2014), Associate Artist of Black Lives, Black Words International Theatre Collective and Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit alumni.

Jade Jones (Standby for Sofia) is a Helen Hayes nominee, performer, rapper and educator. Most recently, Jed gained international attention as Bell in the acclaimed Disney’s Beauty and the Beast production at the Olney Theater Center, and was featured on People Magazine and MSNBC. Other theatre productions include Cinco Paul and Bekah Brunstetter’s AD 16 (world premiere, directed by Stephen Brackett), The Amen Corner (Shakespeare Company), School Girls; alternatively, African Mean Girls (Round House Theatre) and Into the Woods (Ford theater). Television credits include the Chicago Police Department (Stevie). Jade has performed for Michelle Obama and the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and most recently performed with Grammy winner Charlie Rosen and The 8-Bit Big Band at the legendary Howard Theater in Washington, DC. Training: Ferrum College-BFA.

About the show:

Based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and Steven Spielberg’s iconic film, Purple makes its debut! Featuring a Grammy Award-winning soundtrack that blends jazz, ragtime, gospel and African blues, this moving story demonstrates the healing power of love, faith, resilience and sisterhood. Winner of the 2016 Tony Awards for “Best Musical Revival,” this epic show promises a joyous evening of courage, hope, and healing.

The Telsey office is The Muny’s Official Casting Partner.

Purple is sponsored by Emerson.

Muny’s 2022 season includes Chicago (June 13-19), Lerner and Loewe’s Camelot (June 22-28), Disney and Cameron Macintosh’s Mary Poppins (July 5-13), Sweeney Todd : The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (16-28 July 22), Legally Blonde, The Musical (25-31 July), The Color Purple (3-9 August) and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (August 12-18).

Single show tickets are now on sale. Muny Gift Cards for Season 104 are now available online and at The Muny Box Office. For more information, visit muny.org or call (314) 361-1900.

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