Wednesday, November 18, 2009

In Living Color... Purple

The Color Purple Musical came to town... my town. Who woulda thunk it? I was fortunate enough to be able to attend on opening/press night as a media invite. After the show, I met and mingled with some of the cast, got to meet Angela Robinson/Shug Avery (whom I interviewed by phone and concocted an article about for E U Mag... she welcomely autographed my article, proud moment for me) and my mom also got to tag along. "So, this is what it's like to be a writer," she solemnly asked. Needless to say she was a bit starstruck. So was I.

The Musical deviates from certain familiarized elements made popular by the movie and the novel, but it still contained the core theme created by author, Alice Walker: progressing through grave pain to reach pure love. Though some audience members complained about it being too long (like the movie), the elongation was much needed considering the newly incorporated scenes and messages. In the musical, the relationship between Celie and Shug is explored a lot deeper, Mister redeems himself by showing remorse for his cruel actions and Nettie's African journey is also highlighted and showcased through a dance breakdown coinciding with Celie reading her letters.

The song selection drove it all home. Music mixed with dialogue and visuals lured the audience in for active participation and allowed them to completely connect with the action on stage. Truly an experience I will never forget. Can't wait to see it again this Saturday (as a regular, without the urge to critique).

"God get pissed off when you walk through a field and don't notice the color purple."--Shug Avery

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*