Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-05-20
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Theater: The Color Purple
2007-05-09

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


The Color Purple. Photo by Paul Kolnik

________

By: Marsha Norman, book; Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray, score

At: Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph

Phone: 312-902-1400; $28-$85

Through July 22

BY SCOTT C. MORGAN

Anybody who is anybody in Chicago knows that The Color Purple is the must-see event of the theater season.

Die-hard Oprah Winfrey fans will feel her sense of pride at the homecoming for the 2005 Broadway musical version of The Color Purple, now launching its national tour at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre. Chicago's media sensation talk show host was nominated for an Academy Award as Sophia in Stephen Spielberg's 1985 film version of Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, catapulting Winfrey to super-stardom ( she's also got her name attached as the show's big-name producer ) .

There's also a civic pride angle to The Color Purple with its Chicago homecoming for director Gary Griffin and Tony Award-nominated actress Felicia P. Fields ( playing Sofia ) . Both of these long-time local theater stalwarts made their critically acclaimed Broadway debuts with this show.

And then there's the pop celebrity factor to the Chicago production. Michelle Williams, a 'Survivor' of the now defunct trio Destiny's Child, has fun starring as the loose honky-tonk singer Shug Avery ( though she's a tad too skinny for my vision of the voluptuous chanteuse ) . American Idol'diva fans can also get their fix, with finalist LaToya London ( from the same season that spawned Academy Award-winner Jennifer Hudson and winner Fantasia Barrino ) starring as the devoted sister Nettie.

Yeah, yeah, the civic pride and celebrity angles are all great, but what about the show itself you might ask?

Well, you're definitely going to love the Miss Celie of Jeannette Bayardelle. Going from a sexually and physically abused African-American girl ( at the hands of Rufus Bonds, Jr.'s villainous husband, Mister ) to a successful businesswoman with a strong sense of self, sexuality and love of God, Bayardelle's Celie is truly the most moving performance and overall dimension of the show.

The rest of the cast also pile on mountain-loads of performance energy and a prideful love to be part of The Color Purple, particularly in the aforementioned turns by London, Williams and Fields ( who pairs nicely with a spunky Stu James, who plays Sofia's husband, Harpo ) .

My major problem with The Color Purple is it all feels too rushed. In adapting Walker's glorious novel, the show's writing team of playwright Marsha Norman, with songwriters Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray all seem pressured to include practically every incident from the novel.

That's OK for completist fans, but you'll need to pay close attention if you're a Color Purple newbie. The speedy steamrolling of each intricate plot points feels like a race to beat the clock instead of allowing the audience to fully luxuriate in the characters' emotional revelations.

Aside from its panting pace, The Color Purple works as an unabashedly embracing and emotional experience. It's got powerhouse singing, a sturdy staging and, most importantly, a message of love triumphing over life's hardships.


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Safe by Donna Hoke wins 2015 Great Gay Play Contest 2015-05-20
Harris Theatre unveils 2015-16 dance season 2015-05-20
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Coming soon: More 'Sweet Tea' 2015-05-20
THEATER REVIEW Inana 2015-05-20
THEATER REVIEW Our New Girl 2015-05-20
THEATER REVIEW Twisted Melodies 2015-05-20
THEATER REVIEW The Little Foxes 2015-05-20
Spotlight and Critics' Picks 2015-05-20
Community briefs: Theater, film, Pride 2015-05-20
Rita Moreno speaks at NEIU graduation, holds press conference 2015-05-19
THEATER REVIEW White Road 2015-05-13
THEATER REVIEW The Project(s) 2015-05-13
THEATER REVIEW Bad Jews 2015-05-13
Theater Spotlight and Critics' Picks 2015-05-13
THEATER REVIEW Melancholy Play: a chamber musical 2015-05-13
THEATER REVIEW: NYC Fun Home 2015-05-13
Sweet Tea, play explores blackness, sexuality and Southern hospitality 2015-05-10
Stage Left Theatre announces Season 34 2015-05-09
Harris Theater presents 2015-16 season See The Dance 2015-05-07
Steppenwolf's Martha Lavey hospitalized, recovering from stroke 2015-05-07
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT A Savage spoof 2015-05-06
Tony nominations feature Hollywood thespians 2015-05-06
THEATER REVIEW Three Sisters 2015-05-06
THEATER REVIEW Side Man 2015-05-06
THEATER REVIEW All's Well That Ends Well 2015-05-06
THEATER REVIEW Sense and Sensibility 2015-05-06
Theater Spotlight and Critics' Picks 2015-05-06
Stage Left Theatre presents Leapfest XII 2015-05-04
About Face Theatre presents "Abraham Lincoln was a F*gg*t" 2015-05-04
The Bloodhound Law 2015-04-29
Theater Spotlight and Critics' Picks 2015-04-29
Theater news: 'East of Eden' cast; Wonka Ball raises $60K 2015-04-29
THEATER REVIEW A Funny Thing Happened... 2015-04-29
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT The scene in Texas 2015-04-29
THEATER REVIEW Sounds So Sweet 2015-04-29
THEATER REVIEW Lips Together, Teeth Apart 2015-04-29
NUNN ON ONE: THEATER Raul Castillo: From 'Lampshade' to 'Looking' 2015-04-29
NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC Breaking it down with singer-activist Lila Downs 2015-04-29
Gender Fusions explores the 'Galaxy' 2015-04-28
Noel Coward's Design for Living part of Pride Films & Plays season 2015-04-28
 



Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.