'The Color Purple' entices audience members

By Kayloni Wyatt

Photo courtesy of GPAC
Dancers for the Broadway production of The Color Purple, The Musical about Love, perform during the "Homeland" scene in the play.

The Award winning Broadway play, The Color Purple, The Musical about Love, graced the GPAC stage on Jan. 27 to a sold out audience.

The play is based on the timeless Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Alice Walker and the film by Steven Spielberg.

"The Broadway production of The Color Purple is extraordinary and astonishing when it comes down to lyrics, choreography, and plot. First, the Church Ladies keeps the audience informed with their soulful lyrics at the beginning of several scenes," UNCP graduate Tamara White Chambers said.

The audience sat at the edge of the seats as they anticipated the next musical number. Women cheered when the male dancers danced provocatively on stage. Eyes stayed glued the entire play as the actors performed each scene.

The play follows the story of Celie Harris, a young woman who struggles throughout her life with trying to provide for herself in a small Southern town during the early 1900s.

Harris goes through the hardships of being married to an abusive man whom she calls Pa. He has her do all the household chores in their home and he rapes her.

She eventually has two children, who later on vanish and she thinks they were murdered. But, she runs into a young woman who bears resemblance to one of her children.

The play continues to follow Harris as she tries to find a way out of the abusive world she's grown accustomed to.

"I like the way the play aligned itself up with the book when it reveals the intimate relationship with Celie and Shug opposed to the film adaptation where it implies a sexual and romantic relationship between the two but not exactly substantiates it. It was a delightful rendition of the novel," Chambers said.

The Broadway musical is produced by Phoenix Entertainment and is penned by Stephen Kane and Michael McFadden. Gary Griffin is the director.

The music and lyrics are composed by Grammy Award winners Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray. The choreography is by Donald Byrd.

It was nominated for Best Musical Show album at the 2007 Grammy's and 11 Tony Awards in 2007.