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BWW Blog: The Color Purple - From the Pages To the Stages

Amidst the global movements for social change, I've loved seeing resources for supporting BIPOC theatre artists. I also wanted to start reading books that were adapted as musicals, so I decided to combine the two things by starting with immersing myself in the Tony Award-winning The Color Purple.

I read the 1982 Alice Walker novel quickly. The style in which it was written was a new and exciting one. There were so many opportunities to think deeper about the text and imagine the scenes on your own before having the Broadway cast in my head as the characters. The use of "Mr. _____" throughout the book allowed for a lot of interpretation and ability to dive into Celie's relationship with him further. Powerful figures like Celie, Sofia, and Shug all resonated in their own ways that had me incredibly invested by the end of the book. It was the perfect book to bring back my AP Lang/AP Lit style analysis and thinking about the story, characters, and symbols.

BWW Blog: The Color Purple - From the Pages To the Stages

One of my favorite types of musicals are the unexpected ones. I'm the kind of person that doesn't like to go see a show without having listened to the soundtrack at least twice, so setting aside time to actively listen to a new show is always an exciting one. I'm not sure what I was expecting when I listened to the 2015 Broadway cast recording of The Color Purple. On the surface, I knew it was going to be amazing, with Tony accolades and a tremendous cast. But the story woven throughout unique songs and powerful voices was something I didn't expect, but had me hooked by the first song. Some of my favorite songs were "Big Dog," "Dear God," "Too Beautiful for Words," and "African Homeland." Overall, I loved hearing bits and pieces that I was familiar with from the book in a unique musical style. Being familiar with the story allowed me to *fully* appreciate Cynthia Erivo's performance along with the rest of the cast (the harmonies, of course).

BWW Blog: The Color Purple - From the Pages To the Stages

I highly recommend exposing yourself to new shows with different complexities and storylines, and even more, reading them first! Stay tuned for my next book versus stage piece!

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From This Author Student Blogger: Maeve Reilly