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Review: Say 'Hell Yes!' to THE COLOR PURPLE at Broadway At Music Circus

Review: Say 'Hell Yes!' to THE COLOR PURPLE at Broadway At Music Circus

Close out the summer at Music Circus with The Color Purple

For me, the end of summer in Sacramento is signaled by the same event every year-the last show of the Broadway at Music Circus season. This summer's end is particularly bittersweet, as it marks the finale of a return to the round after two years of being in the dark. Fittingly, this show is the most powerful production of the summer. The Color Purple is the last in what has been a remarkable season of unparalleled talent and delicate themes. Based on Alice Walker's 1982 novel and 1985 movie adaptation of the same name, The Color Purple opened on Broadway in 2005 and earned eleven Tony Award nominations.

The end of summer also begins to move us into a season of dormancy, followed by a reawakening in the spring, much like the lead character in the show. Celie is a poor, uneducated, and unworldly black woman living in the South who thinks that her lot in life is predetermined by God. Plagued by incest, an abusive marriage, and separation from her sister Nettie, Celie accepts her misfortunes and keeps plugging along, content that this is her destiny. It is only when two powerful women come into her life that she realizes that things can be different.

Angela Wildflower makes her Music Circus debut as Celie, exhibiting a raw vulnerability that the role requires and truly leaving it all on the stage each night. Beginning as a naïve 14-year-old girl who has birthed two babies to becoming a successful businesswoman who is comfortable in her own skin, Wildflower's Celie runs a gamut of emotions that all beg us to cheer her on. It's empowering to witness Celie come into her own and discover who she truly is after a lifetime of being told what to do. In her anthem of independence, "I'm Here," she takes her power back and tells everyone who ever doubted her, "I'm beautiful, yes, I'm beautiful, and I'm here." Contributing to her newfound rebellion are her friends, Shug Avery and Sofia. Christina Acosta Robinson's Shug is everything that Celie is not, in the sense of sensuality and flightiness peppered with a large dose of cynicism. She pumps Celie full of confidence and makes her think that she might be worthy of love, too, even if it's just loving herself. Celie's daughter-in-law, Sofia, is a woman who cannot be tamed and provides comic relief throughout some of the heavy themes in the show. Played by Amma Osei, Sofia is a woman that would intimidate anyone and is not afraid to capitalize on it. She also possesses the most powerful and unforgettable female voice I've ever witnessed. In her inspiring number, "Hell No!", she tells Celie that she has to start thinking about herself first and telling everyone else, "Hell no!"

The Color Purple is a candid and raw look into the reality of an uneducated black woman with limited options in the early 1900's rural South. It's difficult to imagine Celie's existence now, but every woman can relate to some part of the story. It's a story of rebirth, reinvention, and learning to love yourself just the way you are-something that we should all learn to do. Celie's metamorphosis is an inspiring take on what we can do if we are tenacious and persevere, while also taking the time to appreciate the small beauties in life. "Like a drop of water in the river high, there are miracles for you and I."

The Color Purple plays at Broadway at Music Circus through August 28. Tickets may be purchased by calling (916) 557-1999, online at BroadwaySacramento.com, or in person at the Broadway Sacramento Box Office at 1419 H Street in Sacramento.

Photo credit: Kevin Graft

Regional Awards


From This Author - Courtney Symes

Courtney Symes is a long-time theatre aficionado who has been writing for BroadwayWorld since 2017. She has been active in theatre and youth organizations in her community. After trying law sc... (read more about this author)


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