Recording Artist and Tony Winner Melba Moore Surprises the Pure Life Theatre Cast of PURLIE

What started out as another episode of TORN (Theater on Racist Negativity) turned out to be a night to remember for a group of Triangle theater artists.

Juan Isler opened the TORN panel Thursday night by introducing the cast of Pure Life Theatre’s upcoming production of Purlie. After the introductions, Isler said there was one more panelist he wanted to introduce, Tony Award-winner and Grammy nominated recording artist, Melba Moore.

“RDU on Stage pulled off one of the BEST surprises of 2020,” said Deb Royals. “We had an amazing time, but one of the greatest takeaways was the wisdom she imparted as it pertains to the state of our nation. She admonished us to take the bit of humanity and love that’s left and nurture it.”

Melba Moore starred in the original Broadway production of Purlie and won a Tony Award for her portrayal of Lutiebelle. In the 80s and 90s, she scored a string of Billboard charted hits and received three Grammy Award nominations. Her produced version of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” was entered into the United States Congressional Record as the official Negro National Anthem in 1990. In 2003, Moore was featured in the film, The Fighting Temptations, which starred Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Beyoncé Knowles. Her most recent album was released in December of last year.

Hear what Melba Moore has to say to RDU on Stage about life, faith, and her career. For more information on the Pure Life Theatre production of Purlie, visit:

To find out more about Theater on Racist Negativity (TORN), visit the TORN page.

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