The group of nine cast members of PURLIE VICTORIOUS - Photo by Marc J. Franklin

A Black preacher’s scheme to reclaim his inheritance in “Purlie Victorious” on GREAT PERFORMANCES – May 24 at 9pm

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Great Performances: Purlie Victorious
Premieres Friday, May 24 at 9 p.m. on PBS, on and the PBS App



Leslie Odom, Jr. in suit performing in "Purlie Victorious"
Leslie Odom, Jr. – Photo by Marc J. Franklin

This comedic play starring Tony Award winner Leslie Odom, Jr. tells the story of a Black preacher’s scheme to reclaim his inheritance and win back his church from a plantation owner.

Written by Kennedy Center honoree Ossie Davis with direction by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon (“A Raisin in the Sun”), Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch was recorded live at the Music Box Theatre on January 24-26, 2024.

Purlie Victorious originally opened on Broadway in 1961 and featured Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Alan Alda, Godfrey Cambridge, Sorrell Booke and Beah Richards. The play mirrors playwright Ossie Davis’ personal journey, growing up in racially segregated Georgia, and challenging oppressive white authority in the South and beyond.