Color Me Fabulous!
We laughed, we cried, but most of all we cheered during Tuesday night’s Miami premiere of “The Color Purple” at the Adrienne Arsht Center.
Those familiar with Celie and her coming-of-age saga—first portrayed in Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker’s 1982 novel of the same name, and later in the 1985 film directed by Steven Spielberg— can understand why I initially braced for impact after the theater lights dimmed and actors walked onto the stage. It’s astonishing to think just how much one person can endure over a mere 40 years. Abandonment, sexism, horrendous acts of violence and verbal abuse, and the like. Though, more powerful than the tragedy was this one woman’s incredible strength through adversity and the inspiration she provides to women, people of color, the outcast, the downtrodden and the forgotten.
What I enjoyed most about the Tony Award-winning Broadway adaption of “The Color Purple,” by far, was the vitality each actor brought to their character. Their passion and humility was evident and endearing, causing the audience to devote themselves fully to story.
At times, you wanted to jump onto the stage and protect Celie—portrayed by the talented Adrianna Hicks, who is playing the character in her first national tour of “The Color Purple.” We felt her frustration and empathized with her when she turned to God in anger at what was arguably the lowest point in her life. In other moments, you couldn’t help but sway along as Shug, played by the effervescent Carla R. Stewart, did her thing. In times of triumph, the audience gave their seal of approval with uproarious applause heard round the four-tier venue.
“The Color Purple” is just not a play where you sit in your seat and simply watch. It evokes a range of emotions with an ear-pleasing score of jazz, gospel, ragtime and blues to match!
“The Color Purple” will play at the Adrienne Arsht Center through Sunday, March 4, 2018. For more information, visit arshtcenter.org or colorpurple.com.