When Alice Walker’s 1982 novel became a movie in 1985, a cultural phenomenon was created. The story covers 25 years of the life of a young woman, Cellie, (played by Whoopi Goldberg). Nothing in her life has been easy. There are humorous moments, a myriad of dark moments, and all of the complications that craft human relationships. Also, there is music. Gospel and blues reign on the screen version of “The Color Purple.” Apparently for the musical version, audiences should expect no less. “The Color Purple” the musical, comes to the Embassy Theatre in Fort Wayne, Indiana as part of the Broadway at the Embassy Series. The play is scheduled to grace the historical Embassy stage Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019. The start time is listed as 7:30 p.m.
“The Color Purple” an American classic becomes a musical
In the movie version of “The Color Purple,” most of the singing is done by Shug Avery, a performer with romantic ties to Celie’s husband. Whether she is belting out blues at a juke joint, or leading a caravan of people singing “God Is Trying to Tell You Something” as she returns to her estranged father’s church, it is her voice audiences hear singing most of the time. But with “The Color Purple” being reimagined as a musical, it will be interesting to see and hear who else has a song to be heard.
“The Color Purple” details black American life in the South by focusing on the Johnson family (through Celie’s viewpoint) and those who are connected with the family from the early years of the 20th century until 25 years later, when verbally and emotionally abused Celie finds her voice and begins standing up for herself. She also reconnects with her sister who was leading a more halcyon life in Africa.
Part of the appeal of “The Color Purple” was the way that it showed the different experiences the black women embodied. Therefore, expectations for the musical will likely center around those experiences.
“The Color Purple” musical will find itself at home on the Embassy’s historic stage. The Embassy has been the site of thousands of musicals and plays, many of which had been available on Broadway first. Having been the off-Broadway site of such titles as “Hair” and “Rent,” the Embassy stage is no stranger to musicals with big ideas and sometimes controversial themes.
“The Color Purple” musical won a Tony Award in 2016 for Best Revival of a Musical, and a 2016 Drama League Award.
For tickets and more information, visit: https://www.visitfortwayne.com/event/broadway-at-the-embassy%3A-the-color-purple/23899/
“The Color Purple” is scheduled to play at The Embassy through Nov. 9.