Theatre Talk: The Color Purple

The Color Purple is now one of my favorite Broadway musicals after seeing it at The Fox Theatre last night. I have read the novel numerous times and quote Oprah’s lines from the film almost constantly in my everyday life. But, to see this beautiful story unfold onstage captivated me as if I was experiencing it again for the first time. On one of its early stops of its national tour, the revival of this Broadway hit was pure magic. Every song took me to church. Every character’s cry for love and understanding tugged at my heart. Every. Thing. Was. BRILLIANT.

 

adrianna hicks  celie   n jameh camara  nettie    the north american tour cast of the color purple  photo by matthew murphy Theatre Talk: The Color Purple

Celie (Adrianna Hicks) and Nettie (N’Jameh Camara) Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy

Let’s talk about Celie (Adrianna Hicks). The entire time I watched this performance I was asking myself, “Harpo, who dis’ woman?” There I am…quoting Sofia (Carrie Compere) again. Hicks owned the stage. From her expressions to her vocals, Hicks made a character known since the early 1980s into one we’ve never experienced. I’m not sure if she did this purposely, but I could track Celie’s growth. Sounds weird, I know…but hear me out. You could hear the timidity in Celie’s voice from a young child to outcast teen, constantly blocked by life’s obstacles and tribulations. But as she transforms into a young woman, equipped with self-love and strength, her voice grew powerfully. When she adorned the stage with those beautiful handmade pants, you could see that strength in her strut. She would’ve give any runway model pause! Celie is an exceptional character with layers of discord, that everyone wishes to see triumph. Each character goes through a moment of weakness that ranged from one instance to half their lifetime–but they always prospered. With the dependence of faith and determination, their walks of life all became a little less dim. And, I think a little “button-pushing” does a little bit good, too.

The Color Purple shines at The Fox Theatre now through October 29th. It is honestly “too beautiful for words.” Click here to get your tickets.

 

–Wendell Scott

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