PBS will premiere a filmed version of “Purlie Victorious” in May. The presentation will be part of “Broadway’s Best”, a lineup of four weekly broadcasts in May tied to the Rialto. “Broadway’s Best” is part of the network’s “Great Performances,” a five-decades long series which captures all disciplines of the performing arts on film. The Main Stem revival of Ossie Davis’ “Purlie Victorious,” which closed on Feb. 4.
“Purlie Victorious” will air on PBS in week three of “Broadway’s Best.” Featuring Tony Award winner Leslie Odom, Jr. as Purlie Victorious Judson and Two-time Tony nominee Kara Young as Lutiebelle Gussie Mae Jenkins, the Kenny Leon-directed play will air on May 24 at 9 p.m.
The presentation will also feature Billy Eugene Jones as Gitlow Judson, Jay O. Sanders as Ol’ Cap’n Cotchipee, Heather Alicia Simms as Missy Judson, Vanessa Bell Calloway as Idella Landy, Noah Robbins as Charlie Cotchipee, Noah Pyzik as the Deputy and Bill Timoney as the Sheriff.
Odom will also serve, alongside Mitch Owgang and Stephanie Dawson, as producer of the “Purlie Victorious” broadcast. A production of The WNET Group, “Purlie Victorious” is directed for television by David Horn.
As previously announced, the first offering of “Broadway’s Best” will be the Public Theater’s 2023 Shakespeare in the Park production of “Hamlet.” Featuring Tony nominee Ato Blankson-Wood in the titular role and Solea Pfeiffer as Ophelia, a capture of the play will air on May 10 at 9 p.m. Like “Purlie,” “Hamlet” is directed for television by Horn and produced by Owgang. It is a production of the WNET Group.
Six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald will be featured in the second week with her concert “Audra McDonald at the London Palladium.” Accompanied by the 40-piece London Musical Theatre Orchestra, under the direction of Andy Einhorn, the concert will air on May 17 at 9 p.m. A Steam Motion and Sound Production, “Audra McDonald at the London Palladium” is being produced by David Treatman and Brett Sullivan and directed for television by Ben Crabb.
“Broadway’s Best” will conclude its 2024 lineup with “Rodgers & Hammerstein 80th Anniversary.” The concert, which celebrates the collaboration of the Tony-winning duo (composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein), played at London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane in December 2023. Directed and choreographed by Tony winner Christopher Gattelli, the concert will features performances by Michael Ball, Daniel Dae Kim, Maria Friedman, McDonald, Julian Ovenden, Tony winner Aaron Tveit, Marisha Wallace and Tony nominee Patrick Wilson, as well as appearances from Tony winners Rita Moreno and Andrew Lloyd Webber. The special will air on May 31 at 9 p.m. Julia Knowles is directing the concert broadcast, which is a production of STAGE2VIEW in association with Concord Originals, for television. Rob Bagshaw and Austin Shaw will serve as producers.
“Great Performances” is produced by the WNET Group. Bill O’Donnell serves as series producer and Horn is executive producer.