In 1970 Johnson was nominated for a Tony Award for his choreography of Purlie.
A musical version of Ossie Davis’ Purlie Victorious.
PURLIE 1970 Tony Awards
March 15, 1970
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.
The Broadway musical 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, Novella Nelson, and Helen Martin in supporting roles.
The cast included George Faison, Loretta Abbott, and Ted Ross
PURLIE in Dance Rehearsal