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Posted at 5:22 PM ET, 02/ 4/2011

'Color Purple,' 'Rock of Ages' coming to National Theatre

By Nelson Pressley

"No mainstage shows publically announced at present," says the National Theatre's homepage, but according to a press notice that went out several days ago two touring Broadway musicals are indeed en route: "The Color Purple" (April 12-24) and "Rock of Ages" (July 12-24).

"The Color Purple" will be sans Fantasia, who headlined (and was an unexpected knockout) when the show played the Kennedy Center in 2009. The musical ran for just over two years on Broadway after its Dec. 2005 opening; the current tour's Washington dates are listed on the show's official website, though the link to purchase tickets isn't active yet. (Telecharge isn't taking ticket orders by phone yet, either.)

"Rock of Ages," which has been on Broadway since last March, is a jukebox send-up of 1980s big-hair rock, featuring hits by the likes of Journey, Pat Benatar and Twisted Sister. (The songs are knitted together by romantic intrigue and a let's-save-the-old-nightclub plot.) Constantine Maroulis was Tony-nominated for his role as an ambitious young rocker, and he's slated to be with the show when it hits the National this summer.

A spokesperson for the National - which has a complicated management structure, but is run by the Shubert Organization - says the theater's homepage is in transition following president/executive director Donn B. Murphy's retirement after nearly 30 years on the job. "Watch this space," the home page says, but Broadway buffs looking for tour news may want to look elsewhere (including Sunday's Spring Arts preview section) for a while.

By Nelson Pressley  | February 4, 2011; 5:22 PM ET
Categories:  Theater  
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