$5.99


Great ORIGINAL PLAYBILL from the Winter Garden Theatre dated January, 1971. It measures 5-1/2" x 9" .

This PLAYBILL was to promote the Philip Rose Broadway Play,

PURLIE

Purlie is a musical with a book by Ossie Davis, Philip Rose, and Peter Udell, lyrics by Udell, and music by Gary Geld. It is based on Davis's 1961 play Purlie Victorious, which was later made into the 1963 film Gone Are the Days! and which included all of the original Broadway cast, including Ruby Dee, Alan Alda, Beah Richards, and Godfrey Cambridge.

Purlie is set in an era when Jim Crow laws still were in effect in the American South. Its focus is on the dynamic, traveling preacher Purlie Victorious Judson, who returns to his small Georgia town hoping to save Big Bethel, the community's church, and emancipate the cotton pickers who work on oppressive Ol' Cap'n Cotchipee's plantation. With the assistance of Lutiebelle Gussie Mae Jenkins, Purlie hopes to pry loose from Cotchipee an inheritance due his long-lost cousin and use the money to achieve his goals. Also playing a part in Purlie's plans is Cotchipee's son Charlie, who ultimately proves to be far more liberal than his Simon Legree-like father and saves the church from destruction with an act of defiance that has fatal consequences.

Although Davis did not participate actively in the creation of the musical, so much of his original script was included in the final project that Peter Udell and Philip Rose felt he should share credit for the book.

After 28 previews, the Broadway production, directed by Rose and choreographed by Louis Johnson, opened on March 15, 1970 at The Broadway Theatre. It later transferred to the Winter Garden and then the ANTA Playhouse before completing its 688-performance run. The cast included Cleavon Little as Purlie, John Heffernan as Cotchipee, Melba Moore as Lutiebelle, and C. David Colson as Charlie, with Sherman Hemsley, Linda Hopkins, and Helen Martin in supporting roles. Robert Guillaume replaced Little later in the run.

The first edition of the original cast recording was released by Ampex Records; it was later re-released on RCA Victor.

After two previews, a Broadway revival directed by Philip Rose and choreographed by Johnson opened on December 27, 1972, at the Billy Rose Theatre, where it ran for fourteen performances. Guillame and Helmsley reprised their original roles, with Art Wallace as Cotchipee, Patti Jo as Lutiebelle, and Douglas Norwick as Charlie.

A 1981 television adaptation directed by Rudi Goldman starred Broadway cast members Guillaume, Moore, Hemsley, and Hopkins, with Brandon Maggart as Cotchipee, and Don Scardino as Charlie. The production won a CableACE Award.

The first London production was a fringe theatre staging at the Bridewell Theatre in 2004. The cast included Tee Jaye as Purlie, John Lyons as Cotchipee, and Joanna Francis as Lutiebelle.

In 2005, Sheldon Epps directed a US national tour co-produced by the Pasadena Playhouse and the Goodman Theatre. His New York City Center Encores! staging that same year featured Blair Underwood, Anika Noni Rose, Lillias White, and John Cullum.

Musical numbers

Act I

Walk Him Up the Stairs

Newfangled Preacher Man

Skinnin' a Cat

Purlie

The Harder They Fall

Charlie's Songs: The Barrels of War; The Unborn Love

Big Fish, Little Fish

I Got Love

Great White Father

Skinnin' a Cat

Down Home

Act II

First Thing Monday Mornin'

He Can Do It

The Harder They Fall (Reprise)

The World Is Comin' to a Start

Walk Him Up the Stairs (Reprise)

It's complete, back cover featuring SILVA THINS cigarettes has a bend, slight cover wear. .15 is written on the top right.

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MORE INFO ON MELBA MOORE: Beatrice Melba Hill (born October 29, 1945), best known by her stage name, Melba Moore is an American singer, actress, entertainer. She is the daughter of saxophonist Teddy Hill and R&B singer Bonnie Davis.

Melba Moore was born in 1945 in New York City, New York, to Gertrude Melba Smith (known professionally as Bonnie Davis) and Teddy Hill, and raised in Harlem, New York, until she was 9 and her divorced mother remarried jazz pianist Clement Leroy Moorman. She attended Newark Arts High School in Newark, New Jersey. Her mother, Bonnie Davis, had a No. 1 R&B hit with "Don't Stop Now", prior to Melba's birth. Although her biological father was Big Band leader and saxophonist Teddy Hill, it was her stepfather Moorman (who played on "Don't Stop Now") who became a prime influence and encouragement in Moore's musical pursuits, insisting that she learn to play the piano. When she graduated from college she worked as a music teacher, but she soon decided to pursue the spotlight. She chose her stage name by shortening her stepfather's surname from Moorman and using her middle name, "Melba".

Moore began her performing career in 1967 as Dionne in the original cast of the musical Hair along with Ronnie Dyson and Diane Keaton. Moore replaced Keaton in the role of Sheila. In 1970, she won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Lutiebelle in Purlie. She would not return to Broadway until 1978 when she appeared (as Marsinah) with Eartha Kitt in Timbuktu! but left the show after a few weeks and was replaced by Vanessa Shaw. Following the success of Purlie, Moore landed two big-screen film roles, released two successful albums, 1970's I Got Love and Look What You're Doing to the Man, and co-starred with actor Clifton Davis in the then-couple's own successful variety television series in 1972. Both Moore and Davis revealed that the show was canceled after its brief run when their relationship ended.

When Moore's managers and accountants left her in 1973, she returned to Newark and began singing in benefits. Her career picked up after she met record manager and business promoter Charles Huggins after a performance at the Apollo Theater in 1974. They married in 1975 and formed Hush Productions, signing notable R&B artists such as Freddie Jackson and Meli'sa Morgan.

In 1975 Moore signed with Buddah Records and released the critically successful R&B album, Peach Melba, which included the minor hit, "I Am His Lady". The following year she scored her first significant hit with the Van McCoy-penned "This Is It", which reached the Billboard Hot 100, the top-20 position on the R&B chart, and top-10 in the UK, becoming her biggest success in that country. 'This is It' also became the number-1 disco track in the UK for that year. It would be 18 years later that Australian singer Dannii Minogue will cover this song and make it to # 10 on the ARIA charts. In 1976 she scored her third Grammy nomination with the R&B ballad "Lean on Me", which had been recorded originally by Vivian Reed and later by Moore's idol Aretha Franklin who recorded the song as a b-side to her 1971 hit "Spanish Harlem". The song is most notable for Moore's extended long note at the end. In 1983 she re-recorded the song as a tribute to McCoy, who had died 4 years earlier. Throughout the rest of the 1970s, Moore struggled to match the success of "This Is It" with minor R&B/dance hits, gaining another hit with 1979's "You Stepped Into My Life", which was released on Epic Records and hit the top 20 on the R&B charts and became one of her biggest pop hits.

In 1981 Moore signed with Capitol Records and reached the top 5 on the R&B charts with the dance pop/funk single "Love's Comin' At Ya", which also hit the top 20 in the UK and became a sizable hit in some European countries for its post-disco sound. A string of R&B hits followed, including 1983's "Keepin' My Lover Satisfied" and "Love Me Right", 1984's "Livin' For Your Love", 1985's "Read My Lips"—which later won Moore a fourth Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, making her just the third black artist after Donna Summer and Michael Jackson to be nominated in the rock category—and 1985's "When You Love Me Like This". In 1986, she scored two number-one R&B hits, including the duet "A Little Bit More" with Freddie Jackson and "Falling". She scored other popular R&B hits including "Love the One I'm With (A Lot of Love)" and "It's Been So Long". In 1986, Moore also headlined the CBS television sitcom Melba; its debut aired the same night as the Challenger explosion and the show was abruptly cancelled, though 5 episodes aired that summer. Her success began to wane as the decade closed, although she managed 2 further Top 10 R&B hits, "Do You Really (Want My Love)" and "Lift Every Voice and Sing" (which featured such artists as Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Jeffrey Osborne, Anita Baker, and Stephanie Mills).

Moore returned to Broadway in 1995 landing a part in Les Misérables. A year later, she started her long-running one-woman show, Sweet Songs of the Soul, later renamed I'm Still Standing. In 2003, Moore was featured in the film, The Fighting Temptations, which starred Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Beyoncé Knowles. In 2007, she landed a role in the Broadway revival of Ain't Misbehavin'. In 2009 independent label Breaking Records released the EP Book of Dreams, in which Moore was featured. That same year Moore told her life story on TV-One's Unsung and later that year released her first R&B album in nearly 20 years, a duet release with Phil Perry called The Gift of Love. Moore is currently working on a new album which is scheduled to be released in 2011. The album is being produced by Rahni Song and Dominic McFadden, son of the late Gene McFadden of McFadden & Whitehead. Her song called "Love Is" debuted on the R&B charts in 2011 at #87.

Award, her music career brought additional accolades. She was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1971 for 'Best New Artist'. Her 1975 second album, Peach Melba, saw her get a Grammy nomination. In 1976, she earned another Grammy nomination for Best Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance - Female for the song "Lean on Me", Moore was also nominated for Best Female Rock Vocal in 1986 for "Read My Lips".

Moore is also the 2012 Recipient of the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival Theatre Legend Award.

MORE INFO ON CLEAVON LITTLE: Cleavon Jake Little (June 1, 1939 – October 22, 1992) was an American stage, film, and television actor. Little began his career in the late 1960s on the stage. In 1970, he starred in the Broadway production of Purlie for which he earned both a Drama Desk and a Tony Award. In 1972, Little starred as the irreverent Dr. Jerry Noland on the ABC sitcom Temperatures Rising. Two years later, he won the role for which he is best known, as Sheriff Bart in the 1974 Mel Brooks comedy Blazing Saddles.

In the 1980s, Little continued to appear in stage productions, films, and in guest spots on television series. In 1989, he won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor for his appearance on the NBC sitcom Dear John. From 1991 to 1992, he starred on the Fox sitcom True Colors.

Little was born in Chickasha, Oklahoma. He was the brother of singer DeEtta Little, best known for her performance of "Gonna Fly Now", the main theme to Rocky. He was raised in California, graduating in 1957 from Kearny High School and initially attended San Diego City College, and then at San Diego State University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in dramatic arts. After receiving a full scholarship to graduate school at Juilliard, he moved to New York. After completing studies at Juilliard, Little trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Little made his professional debut in February 1967, appearing off-Broadway at the Village Gate as the Muslim Witch in the original production of Barbara Garson's MacBird. This was followed by the role of Foxtrot in the original production of Bruce Jay Friedman's long-running play Scuba Duba which premiered in October 1967.

The following year, he made his first film appearance in a small uncredited role in What's So Bad About Feeling Good?, as well as his first television appearance as a guest star on two episodes of Felony Squad. A series of small roles followed in films such as John and Mary (1969) and Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970).

Little made his Broadway debut in 1969 as Lee Haines in John Sebastian and Murray Schisgal's musical Jimmy Shine with Dustin Hoffman in the title role. In 1971, he returned to Broadway to portray the title role in Ossie Davis's musical Purlie, for which he won a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for best actor in a musical.

A year later, Little was hired as an ensemble player on the syndicated TV variety weekly The David Frost Revue and he portrayed Shogo in Narrow Road to the Deep North on Broadway. In 1971, Little was chosen to portray the blind radio personality Super Soul in the car-chase movie Vanishing Point. That same year, he played Hawthorne Dooley in the pilot for The Waltons called "The Homecoming: A Christmas Story", helping John-Boy Walton search for his father; then again in season four, in an episode called "The Fighter", about a prizefighter who desired to build a church and be a preacher. He also played a burglar in a 1971 episode of All in the Family titled "Edith Writes a Song".

He then starred in the ABC sitcom Temperatures Rising, which aired in three different iterations from 1972–74, with Little's character of Dr. Jerry Noland as the only common element. Concurrently, he was cast as Sheriff Bart in the 1974 comedy film Blazing Saddles, after the studio rejected Richard Pryor, who co-wrote the script. Studio executives were apparently nervous over Pryor's reputation as a racy comedian and thought Little would be a safer choice. This role earned him a BAFTA Award nomination as most promising newcomer.

He played a supporting role to Richard Pryor in the racing movie Greased Lightning (1977), based on the true life story of Wendell Scott, the first black stock car racing winner in America. In 1975, Little returned to Broadway to portray the role of Lewis in the original production of Murray Schisgal's All Over Town under the direction of Dustin Hoffman. The following year, he appeared as Willy Stepp in the original production of Ronald Ribman's The Poison Tree at the Ambassador Theatre.

After Blazing Saddles, Little appeared in many less successful films, such as FM, High Risk, Scavenger Hunt, Jimmy the Kid, Surf II, and Toy Soldiers. He also made guest appearances on The Mod Squad, The Rookies, Police Story, The Rockford Files, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, ABC Afterschool Specials, The Fall Guy, MacGyver, and ALF.

Little had a part in Fletch Lives, the sequel to 1985's Fletch. He co-starred opposite Lauren Hutton and Jim Carrey in the 1985 horror comedy Once Bitten. In 1985, Little returned to Broadway to appear as Midge in Herb Gardner's Tony Award-winning play I'm Not Rappaport, reuniting with Dear John star Judd Hirsch in New York and later on tour. The Broadway cast also featured Jace Alexander and Mercedes Ruehl.

In 1989, he appeared in the Dear John episode "Stand By Your Man", for which he won the Outstanding Guest Actor Emmy, defeating Robert Picardo, Jack Gilford, Leslie Nielsen, and Sammy Davis, Jr.

Little was slated to star in the TV series Mr. Dugan, where he was to play a black Congressman, but that series was poorly received by real black Congressmen and was canceled before making it to air. In 1991, he replaced Frankie Faison as Ronald Freeman, a black dentist married to a white housewife, on the Fox sitcom True Colors. That same year, he also had a supporting role in the television series Bagdad Cafe, appearing in 12 episodes. Later that year, he was cast as a civil-rights lawyer in the TV docudrama, Separate but Equal, starring Sidney Poitier, who portrayed the first black U. S. Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall, NAACP lead attorney in the 1954 Supreme Court case desegregating public schools. He also appeared in the TV series MacGyver as Frank Colton, half of a bounty hunter brother duo.

Little's last appearance was a guest part on an episode of Tales from the Crypt. Often afflicted by ulcers and general stomach problems during his life, Little died of colorectal cancer on October 22, 1992. His ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean.

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PURLIE Original MELBA MOORE Theatre PLAYBILL Cleavon Little
Item #BMM0002421