Color Boston Purple

Posted November 13, 2017 by Cheryl Fenton in Theater & Arts
The Color Purple Boch Center

“I think it pisses God off when you walk by the color purple in a field and don’t notice it,” says Shug Avery.

This bad news lounge singer is right. How can you ignore it? The color purple almost wills us to stop and appreciate its beauty. It uplifts. It heals.

And so does the story of Tony Award and Grammy Award-winning The Color Purple, as it starts its first US tour at the Shubert Theatre from November 21 to December 3.

This musical based on the iconic book by Alice Walker follows Celie, an African-American young woman living in the south in the early 1900s. Through her moving tale of love, suffering and triumph, the audience is transported deep into the heart-wrenching yet heart-warming story of the American South. Add the soul-raising score of gospel, ragtime, jazz, and blues, with songs like “Too Beautiful for Words” and “Somebody Gonna Love You” and you have emotional reminders that everyone wants to be loved.

Given the climate of the day, it was common for a home like Celie’s in rural Georgia home to be full of struggle. Her father Alphonso is abusive, and her future is set as she’s married off to the abusive local farmer, unlovingly called ‘Mister’. Just as the hardships build, local singer Avery puts his shady rep aside and befriends the young girl. Her life is forever changed, as he helps her believe she can battle the odds.

One of today’s most critically acclaimed book-to-film-to-stage adaptations, not only are the themes of survival in The Color Purple praise-worthy, but the performances of them are also loudly applauded. The 1982 novel won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, making Walker the first woman of color to win the prize, as well as the National Book Award. The 1985 film (directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, and Oprah Winfrey) was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, and the 2005 to 2008 Broadway production was nominated for 11 Tony Awards. The 2015 Broadway production won two Tonys and a Grammy for Best Cast Album.

In this epic re-imagining, you’ll witness the on-stage talents of Adrianna Hicks as Celie; Carla R. Stewart as Shug; Avery Carrie Compere as Sofia Gavin; Gregory as Mister; N’Jameh Camara as Nettie; and J. Daughtry as Harpo. The music is by Brenda Russell and Allee Willis, lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray, and Tony-winning director/scenic designer John Doyle pulls it all together.

This particular run of the award-winning show isn’t just another night at the theater. It has the potential to be so much more than that. Since it’s the Thanksgiving season, the Boch Center invites all of Boston’s community to share in the experience of The Color Purple. Their hope is that its uplifting message will begin a dialogue about important issues we all face. During their Color Boston Purple initiative, you’ll discover different ways to get involved – from supporting Rosie’s Place through your ticket price to the sing-a-along during church pride night to community and family nights.

With all this community outreach, you can color us impressed.

Performances are scheduled for Tuesday, November 21, at 7:30pm; Friday, November 24, at 2pm and 8 pm; Saturday, November 25, at 2pm and 8 pm; Sunday, November 26, at 1pm and 6:30pm; Friday, December 1, at 8pm; Saturday, December 2, at 2pm and 8pm; and Sunday, December 3, at 1pm and 6:30pm. The Shubert Theatre is located at 265 Tremont Street in Boston.