Comscore

Menier Chocolate Factory production of THE COLOR PURPLE?

WiCkEDrOcKS Profile Photo
WiCkEDrOcKS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/04
Has anyone on here seen this production? Thoughts? I was watching a feature on NYTimes.com, and Patrick Healy mentioned that Doyle and bookwriter Marsha Norman cut something like 30 minutes from the show. Can anyone elaborate on what was cut? He ends the piece by mentioning that the producers are looking at possibly bringing the show to Broadway. Does anyone know any more about a possible transfer? It looks like a pretty stunning production.

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/video/2013/08/15/theater/100000002390304/staging-the-color-purple.html

NY Times review: http://tinyurl.com/lpsbbjl

Current Avatar: Tony-winner Idina Menzel, delivering a sucker-punch of an 11:00 number, "Always Starting Over," in IF/THEN.
Updated On: 8/18/13 at 11:31 AM
best12bars Profile Photo
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
I can't wait to hear how people here freak out about 30 minutes of it being cut.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
ljay889 Profile Photo
ljay889
Broadway Legend
joined:8/4/04
A Broadway revival already? That sounds like a disastrous idea.
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
Well, that means it's also thirty less minutes of the audience screaming and mmm-ing and exclaiming 'YOU GO, TASIA!'

I actually didn't realize Chocolate Factory was re-imagining this one. Very interesting choice. Thanks for the heads up, Rocks.
CarlosAlberto Profile Photo
CarlosAlberto
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/10
I'm going to pretend I didn't just read what could be considered a very racist assessment of the audience THE COLOR PURPLE attracts.
Someone in a Tree2 Profile Photo
Someone in a Tree2
Broadway Star
joined:10/9/12
I actually loved whole bunches of Act I of PURPLE in its first incarnation on Broadway. The Act II opener, the letter from Africa ballet, was a stunner for me. As far as I'm concerned they could have cut the rest of Act II and sent me home happy.
TheatreFan4 Profile Photo
TheatreFan4
Broadway Legend
joined:8/12/09
I'm going to pretend I didn't just read what could be considered a very racist assessment of the audience THE COLOR PURPLE attracts.

Not so much a racist statement as much as a true one about Fantasia's fans.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OP122JqapE8
"Hi there, we represent The Broadway Better Business Players for a Better Tomorrow. We're trying to start a petition to get second rate shows taken off the marquee and with your help we can stop Mamma Mia from ever playing again." -Brad Jones in Suburban Knights

"Is it true you have Ralph Jr at the bottom of your purse in a jar of formaldehyde?" - Felicia
"No, but I wish I did so I could shove it down your throat!" - Bernadette

"This play is sh*t! This play is sh*t! F*CK YOU TERRENCE MCNALLY!!"- Patti LuPone as an angry theatre goer at 'Master Class'

"Being normal is VASTLY overrated..."
- Aggie Cromwell
sparepart973
Featured Actor
joined:4/7/12
I saw it last Sunday and really enjoyed it and was very much connected and seriously gripped by it. Chocked up at the end, and was surrounded by many people who were more or less weeping.

Very good production especially compared to the original. I saw the tour in Chicago several years ago and did not care for it one bit. I thought it was caricaturist and detached.

I still have a problem with some of the score; though there are some very good numbers here and there, but some other tunes are a little too non-melodic for my taste. I probably would have wanted to see it again before it closes but it's completely sold out. Glad I got my ticket when I did.
ljay889 Profile Photo
ljay889
Broadway Legend
joined:8/4/04
Not so much a racist statement as much as a true one about Fantasia's fans.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OP122JqapE8


"Y'all are some ungrateful bitches.
Who cares if she was talking through this. This is HER video. She was the one that recorded it and its was her CHOICE to put it up and share? it with people.
She didn't have to post it at all. Be thankful that you at least got to see (even if the quality was poor) and hear (most important) this once in a lifetime event. Get over yourselves."

LOL a youtube comment.
ucjrdude902 Profile Photo
ucjrdude902
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/07
Isn't there a time limit ( I guess you would cal it) before you can return as a "revival"?
MadAboutTheBoy Profile Photo
MadAboutTheBoy
Understudy
joined:12/29/10
"I'm going to pretend I didn't just read what could be considered a very racist assessment of the audience THE COLOR PURPLE attracts.

Not so much a racist statement as much as a true one about Fantasia's fans.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OP122JqapE8

I'm a fan of Fantasia and I've never done this. So how is this a true statement about her fans?"

You know, I've been a member of BroadwayWorld.com for a few years now, and I joined because of my love of theatre and the immense amount of knowledge, experience, and insight many of its members offer. Many of you have deepened my understanding and love of theatre in ways you probably will never know.

However, I feel like there is some unspoken (well, sometimes spoken) general derision towards the black experience in the theatre. It seems to me that some blacks have a vastly different theatergoing experience than white. This, of course, is a generalization, but much of the black experience in America has been centered around the church, which fosters a participatory experience between the congregation and the pastor or choir. Jazz music as well as the blues employ a type of call and response strategy that lessens the distance between the artist and the listener. Theatre, which sometimes blurs the lines between music and religion (for me, some of the most moving theatre has been akin to a religious experience) is no different for many people. And some blacks, when extremely moved emotionally, certainly do "participate" in the theatre experience by verbally responding to the artist on stage. It can be a symbiotic experience, wherein the performer feeds off of this, uses it to deepen their performance, and sends it right back.

To deride this experience is to say that one type of theatre-going experience is better or more valid than another. Why not try sometime to enjoy it for what it is? The next time you're in an audience of predominantly black folk (for many of whom it may be their first time seeing themselves represented on stage) who are employing call and response, why not try to let the experience sink in and appreciate the moment? Even if you end up not enjoying it, it's not the end of the world. If you feel like some are being disrespectful (and, I might add, I've been in predominantly white audiences where many people were very disrespectful as well), then why not lead by example? A gentle word to someone who may not be realizing they are disrupting your experience can go a long way.

But there's no need to pretend that your way of enjoying and appreciate a theatre experience is in any way more valid or right than anyone elses.

Updated On: 8/18/13 at 02:44 PM
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
For the record, I have NOTHING against that... Unless the people around you have paid money to enjoy a performance on the stage -- not in the seats. It's not something that one NEEDS to do, they CHOOSE to "participate." I'm all for it in the appropriate setting; I especially enjoy attending interactive poetry slams. A Broadway show, however, is not one of them. Unless the show is specifically asking for that vocal and/or physical participation.
MadAboutTheBoy Profile Photo
MadAboutTheBoy
Understudy
joined:12/29/10
"I'm all for it in the appropriate setting; I especially enjoy attending interactive poetry slams. A Broadway show, however, is not one of them."

Says who? Who says this is not the appropriate setting to employ call and response? The history of theatre has roots in participatory elements. Shakespeare's plays (to take a canonical example) were written with participatory elements in mind, and many of the audience routinely shouted their approval, disapproval, awe, fear, or joy. To say that theatre is not the appropriate setting in which to do this is disingenuous. It is EXACTLY the place for many people to do this.

Responses to theatre are fluid and changing. It is an organic creature that can morph depending on those viewing it; that is one of theatre's strengths.

If you suspect a performance of performer is going to draw a crowd you may not enjoy or elicit a response from theatregoers that may disrupt your enjoyment of a show, why not see it at a different time? Or ask for your money back? Do anything but imply those theatergoers don't have a right to be there.
TheatreDiva90016 Profile Photo
TheatreDiva90016
Broadway Legend
joined:4/10/04
"I'm going to pretend I didn't just read what could be considered a very racist assessment of the audience THE COLOR PURPLE attracts.

Not so much a racist statement as much as a true one about Fantasia's fans. "

It not even just Fantasias fans.

When I saw it in LA, people were hooting and hollering and yelling back to the performers. During the scene where Mister asks Celie to marry him a second time, one woman yelled out, at the top of her voice, HELL NO!"
"TheatreDiva90016 - another good reason to frequent these boards less."<<>> I hesitate to give this line of discussion the validation it so desperately craves by perpetuating it, but the light from logic is getting further and further away with your every successive post. <<>> -whatever2
TheatreFan4 Profile Photo
TheatreFan4
Broadway Legend
joined:8/12/09
If you suspect a performance of performer is going to draw a crowd you may not enjoy or elicit a response from theatregoers that may disrupt your enjoyment of a show, why not see it at a different time? Or ask for your money back? Do anything but imply those theatergoers don't have a right to be there.

Aww no. I shouldn't have to accommodate my theatre going around people who behave as though a show is a production of Rocky Horror. Cellphones are not allowed because they DISTURB THOSE AROUND YOU AND ON STAGE. Why should you get a free pass if the disruption because the noise is you having a "moment?" It's called grow the F*CK up. You have a 1500+ audience and you are ruinning THEIR experience. I don't care about what church is like, Broadway is not church unless they invite you to participate. The ending of Mamma Mia. Let It Be. etc. The Color Purple is not interactive.

"Hi there, we represent The Broadway Better Business Players for a Better Tomorrow. We're trying to start a petition to get second rate shows taken off the marquee and with your help we can stop Mamma Mia from ever playing again." -Brad Jones in Suburban Knights

"Is it true you have Ralph Jr at the bottom of your purse in a jar of formaldehyde?" - Felicia
"No, but I wish I did so I could shove it down your throat!" - Bernadette

"This play is sh*t! This play is sh*t! F*CK YOU TERRENCE MCNALLY!!"- Patti LuPone as an angry theatre goer at 'Master Class'

"Being normal is VASTLY overrated..."
- Aggie Cromwell
Updated On: 8/18/13 at 03:07 PM
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
This argument could go in circles. What about those who have a right to enjoy the performance without, what they MIGHT deem or consider, disruptive noises from the audience?

In my humble opinion, which really doesn't mean much, the argument could go both ways. To you, it's a religious experience and yelling an exclamation or making noises becomes a necessity for being able to fully enjoy that experience. To me, in a standard theatrical presentation, it's jarring and distracting. In extreme cases, it could inhibit one's ability to hear, understand, and/or enjoy the show.

Are we really arguing whose rights are more important?
best12bars Profile Photo
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
I'm trying to picture Carousel or Evita or Phantom of the Opera with a similar audience reaction.

Granted the reaction in question isn't from ALL audience members, but there is no doubt about a cultural shift in the way audiences behave from one show to the next.

Oh, and remind me never, ever to pay Broadway ticket prices for a "kiddie" show like Mary Poppins again, where kids rattle their plastic candies, talk in full volume to each other and cry like babies even when they're eight years old.

That's a clear cultural shift in a "type of audience as well, and it has nothing to do with race. I don't want that either. In fact, I'll take a Color Purple audience over a Beauty and the Beast audience any day of the week.

And then there's the OMG! Woooohoooo! audiences of Wicked ...
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
justincharacter Profile Photo
justincharacter
Broadway Star
joined:6/11/13
I don't find it racist, at all. Audience members disrupt shows all the time, bwayphreak mentioned in the recent Phantom review where he/she witnessed people disrupting the show more than once. Michael Crawford can even tell you that while he was singing "Music of the Night", a woman in the front row answered her phone and pointed it right at the stage.
RippedMan Profile Photo
RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
I mean, I will say "black shows" tend to have a more rowdy audience. I saw August: Osage County with Estelle Parsons and you could hear a pen drop. I saw it again with Phylicia Rashad and people were 'Ooohh" and "ahhh" and talking back to the show. Same with "Trip to Bountiful."

I don't hate it, but to me it lessens the dramatic moments because you'll always have that one person who says something loud and inappropriate during some quiet moment on stage. It gets frustrating. I missed so much of "Trip to Bountiful" because the people around me were talking or yelling back to the stage.

And I realize this is a generalization, but it's also kind of not. I mean, I've seen enough shows to know.


..... back on topic....

This looks great, but I'm surprised they would even think about bringing it to Broadway. Take it to some of the regional houses, maybe.
mrkringas Profile Photo
mrkringas
Broadway Star
joined:9/28/05
So in answer to the original post.. I've seen this production. It is an excellent example of performers and a director elevating mediocre material.

The break out star is Cynthia Erivo as Celie. She excels in the role. RADA trained and belts at least one note La Chanze sings in head voice on the cast album. But more important than her vocal quality - its a grounded, focused performance amid a sea of some of the best singing I've heard on a London stage in a long time.

I still have issues with the book. John Doyle has pruned it into a manageable state. I'm no longer thinking wtf at the start of Act 2 after he hacked that opening sequence down.

But I did find myself welled up at the end of Act 1 and 2.

I saw the original broadway cast a few weeks after the production opened. Without commenting on some of the points other people made.. the one thing that stayed with me from that performance (aside from the glory of La Chanze) was the exceptional audience.

I say exceptional for one reason. The audience didn't look anything like me. That rarely if at all happens in London. Even at "black" plays or musicals. There was a collective energy in the theatre that I felt like an observer of and not something I have experienced since. The Menier audience when I attended was a bit more diverse than normal but still nowhere near that level.
WiCkEDrOcKS Profile Photo
WiCkEDrOcKS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/04
Thanks, mrkringas. So, can you elaborate a bit on the specifics of what was cut?
Current Avatar: Tony-winner Idina Menzel, delivering a sucker-punch of an 11:00 number, "Always Starting Over," in IF/THEN.