Prince is gone and Broadway is mourning.
During the curtain call for last night’s performance of Hamilton, the familiar chords that open the first song on Prince's most iconic album began to play and the audience knew they were in for something special.
The show’s star and creator Lin-Manuel Miranda delivered the opening verse of “Let’s Go Crazy,” ending with “Rest in peace, Prince” before the cast broke out into a joyous dance party in his honor.
Prince was a fan of the musical that has changed the face of Broadway over the past year. Just over a month ago, he attended a performance, but unlike so many other celebrities who have sat in the audience, the famously shy musician declined to visit the cast backstage.
Instead, as cast member Leslie Odom Jr. told Stephen Colbert last night, Prince invited the entire cast to a secret, private concert he was giving in Harlem. “It meant the world to us,” Odom said. “We’ll never forget stuff like that.” The next day, Prince sent out the tweet below:
Even better was the treat that audience members at Thursday night’s performance of The Color Purple were given by the show’s cast. Speaking from the stage, star Jennifer Hudson said, “Today we lost a legend” and asked the crowd to join her in paying tribute to Prince, who believed “his music will live on and he will live through his music.”
“I know y’all know the song,” Hudson said, as the band began to play “Purple Rain” and she began to trade verses with co-star Cynthia Erivo. Their unbridled belting of the classic, and appropriately titled song, no doubt would have made Prince proud.