Photo Courtesy of Charr Crail
Summer is coming to a close, and with it comes the end of the Broadway at Music Circus season. This year has been filled with a wide array of wonderful musicals — and they decided to end the season on a high note with the moving musical, THE COLOR PURPLE.
THE COLOR PURPLE is based on the 1982 novel by Alice Walker and the 1985 Steven Spielberg film of the same name. The musical tells the story of Celie, an African American woman growing up in rural Georgia in the 1930s. Throughout her life Celie is abused, separated from her family, and married off without her consent. The audience not only sees her grow in these situations, but they get to watch her thrive as she discovers her value.
The performances in this play were phenomenal. Angela Wildflower’s portrayal of Celie was raw, emotional, and had me reaching for my tissues. She blew me away as she handled the heavy situations Celie faced with grace and passion. I was also very impressed with Ken Robinson’s depiction of Mister. He portrayed Mister as an intense and intimidating man, which completely flipped in the Second Act. The story as a whole did a fantastic job of balancing the intense themes with some humor. My favorite moment was seeing the three “gossiping church ladies” that not only transitioned scenes, but also helped to provide much needed laughter.
The music is composed of jazz, gospel, ragtime, and blues, which makes for an incredible score. “I’m Here” sung by Angela Wildflower was performed so powerfully it gave me goosebumps. “Brown Betty” performed by Matthew Fredrick Harris (Harpo), Domonique Paton (Squeak), and company really leaned into the jazz component, and they had a great dance number to go with it. One of my favorite songs was “Hell No!,” performed by Amma Osei (Sofia) and company. Not only did the song showcase Sofia’s strong and lively personality, but it also helped add levity to the play.
All the actors in THE COLOR PURPLE did a marvelous job of making this play an inspiring and emotional journey for the audience. By the time you reach the last number, you will be crying tears of joy for Celie. As the last show of the Broadway at Music Circus season, this is one you won’t want to miss! Catch THE COLOR PURPLE at the UC Davis Health Pavilion through August 28th. Click here to learn more.