The Color Purple currently running at the Citadel Theatre. As I wrote earlier, I loved Alice Walker's novel and I am happy to report that the production is everything and more than I could have hoped for. From the first few seconds of the show, when Celie (Tara Jackson) and Nettie (Allison Edwards-Crewe) sing a child's rhyme together, you know that musically you are going to be treated to something magnificent. This grows as the full cast joins them onstage and the world of Celie is created. The power and beauty of this cast in their vocals is majestic. It's the kind of music sung so well that it makes you want to lift from your seat. The Citadel has done an incredible job of bringing together this cast which has no weak links, each voice expressive, joyful and strong. Kudos to the cast and to Music Director Floydd Ricketts for creating such amazing sound.
Overall, the show flows beautifully. Director Kimberly Rampersad has done a masterful job of keeping this epic story moving from moment to moment, making sure that the emotion is real and earned. Her choreography is fun, sexy and organic, helping to move the action along and never feeling contrived. (Interesting side-note: On the night I saw it, the show had to be stopped about 10 minutes before intermission because of a medical emergency in the audience. Once the emergency was dealt with, the show picked up from a few moments before it had to be stopped, and this interruption did not affect the flow or the audience's connection to the story. It was as though we were reading the novel and set the book down and picked it back up. We were back in as though nothing had happened. Now that's the sign of a well done show!).
If you can't tell... I loved the show. Whether you've read the book or seen the movie or not, I think that it's a wonderful story that will grab you. The music alone is enough to recommend it, you are unlikely to hear an ensemble that sings so well together this season, but it's also so much more than that.
The Color Purple runs until October 13, 2019 at the Citadel Theatre. Click here for tickets.
Photo Credit: Ian Jackson; EPIC Photography
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