I was so glad when I saw that the Color Purple was coming to my little town. I must say that after roughly two decades of seeing the movie, the musical on stage brought back delightful memories of why I fell in love with this critically acclaimed work. Of course, one of the very first things that I noticed were the costumes. Specifically the accessories! The vintage purses, shoes and hats were adorable. In the second act, the African dancers wore these outstanding embellished headpieces with amazing beading. The African dancers also wore costumes that almost looked the color of their skintone and they were painted on. The combination of colors of turquoise, browns and greens in the stage set and the costumes in the top of the second act just drew you into the villages of Africa!
One of my favorite members of the cast was Dayna Jarae Dantzler who played Celie. Her sweet purity of character made you fall in love with her instantly. There was also something about her that made you wanna laugh! Her vocal solos were so powerful! For such a tiny frame, she could belt out some notes. The script remained as in the movie, having Miss Celie deeply smitten with Shug Avery. I thought that it would make me uncomfortable to see them once again, show affectionate towards one another. After being continuously raped as a child by her father, it’s a wonder that she could even feel love for another….of any gender. The relationship between Nettie and Celie was playful and sincere and they sung a lovely duet together. Their remarkable voices complimented each other very well.
The rest of the cast was just as talented as Jarae Dantzler. The character of Sophie was just as humorous and loveable as Oprah Winfrey, Shug Avery was just as charming, and Nettie look so much like the Nettie in the film version. The character of Albert (Mister) was compelling as well. However, I grew to detest him much more in the film version. I guess that I had more time to.
If the Color Purple comes to your city, please go see it. It’s beautiful, it’s a delightful replica of the book/film and if you are completely new to it….you will definitely appreciate it!