Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-04-16
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

Pam Grier talks 'Dining Out For Life,' comic conventions Pam Grier talks 'Dining Out For Life,' comic conventions
Pam Grier is a Golden Globe nominated actress that began her movie ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  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.

DOUBLE REVIEW Dorian, Snow White and the Seven Drag Queens 2014-04-23
CRITICS' PICKS 2014-04-23
THEATER REVIEW L'Imbecile 2014-04-23
THEATER REVIEW Mud Blue Sky 2014-04-23
ALCC's 'Motown' benefit on May 1 2014-04-23
Spotlight 2014-04-23
Drag/burlesque workshop series held at SAIC 2014-04-22
Jeff Awards nominees include BoHo Theatre, Oracle 2014-04-21
Brahman/i One-Hijra Stand Up Comedy Show extended 2014-04-16
THEATER REVIEW Our Class 2014-04-16
THEATER REVIEW The Great God Pan 2014-04-16
CRITICS' PICKS 2014-04-16
THEATER REVIEW El Incas 2014-04-16
Spotlight: The Dance of Death 2014-04-16
Arts Alliance luncheon to feature McCraney 2014-04-16
THEATER REVIEW Cicada 2014-04-14
Chicago Humanities Fest names Alison Cuddy Program Director 2014-04-10
Spotlight: 33 RPM and a Few Seconds 2014-04-09
Peter and the Starcatcher 2014-04-09
A Place in the Woods 2014-04-09
CRITICS' PICKS 2014-04-09
THEATER REVIEW Happy Endings 2014-04-09
Brahman/i: A One-Hijra Stand Up Comedy Show 2014-04-09
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Sexual and gender dualities on stage 2014-04-09
Chicago play brings former flames full circle in 'Cicada' 2014-04-09
Sapna Kumar chases dreams to Hollywood 2014-04-09
Dustin Lance Black at Elmhurst College on May 8 2014-04-09
Comedy night benefits NU's IMPACT program 2014-04-08
THEATER REVIEW Good Boys and True 2014-04-02
Spotlight: The Laramie Project 2014-04-02
THEATER REVIEW Depraved New World 2014-04-02
CRITICS' PICKS 2014-04-02
Songs from an Unmade Bed 2014-04-02
April 7 comedy event to benefit LGBT program 2014-04-02
Babes with Blades to run 'L'Imbecile' in April, May 2014-04-02
Judy Gold among City Winery's upcoming acts 2014-04-02
THEATER REVIEW Bat-Hamlet 2014-04-02
TheatrePros.com holding spring preview April 6 2014-04-01
Wonka Ball's theme is 'The Gayme Show!' 2014-04-01
Getting on bi? World premieres touch upon sexual fluidity 2014-04-01





Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
the 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.

 

 

 



 

Lady Tajma Hall dies
 
Gay-owned B&B offers warmth in Rogers Park
 
LGBTQ Senior Housing applications to open up
 
Villa Loretta adds a touch of Hollywood to weddings
 
CHM declares 'One Love' with wedding expo
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now








  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



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      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
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.