Review by Jeanne Kinley Deller:
This “reimagined” musical production, based on Alice Walker’s 1982 novel The Color Purple, is not for the faint of heart. Tough subject matter surrounds a young girl born into segregation and extreme poverty in the deep south. Emotionally and sexually abused by both her “father” and the man he forces her to marry, Celie (Adrianna Hicks), endures unfathomable cruelty.
Adrianna Hicks’ exacting characterization of Celia, over a period of four decades beginning in the early 1900s, is extraordinary. Hicks flawlessly transitions Celia from a broken, pregnant teen to a powerfully brusque luminary – thankfully!
As The Color Purple’s antagonists age and grow in awareness and empathy, the audience can settle back in their seats with a sigh of relief. Top favorite in song-and-dance relief is the delectable Sofia (Carrie Compere) and chums’ “Hell No!” The seductive rendition of “Any Little Thing” with Sofia and Harpo (J. Daughtry) brings the house down.
Not to be missed, this thought-provoking production (and 2016 Tony Award Winner for Best Musical Revival) of The Color Purple is at The Paramount in downtown Seattle for a limited run now through July 1, 2018. Tickets here.
Photos by Matthew Murphy