Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-12-07
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

Theater: The Color Purple
2007-06-01

This article shared 4517 times since Fri Jun 1, 2007
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


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

Runs through: Sept. 2

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.


This article shared 4517 times since Fri Jun 1, 2007
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Chicago theater charges on through the cold months 2023-01-31
- The ongoing 2022-2023 theater season—roughly September to June—will be the first complete production season in Chicago in three years. A few troupes cautiously returned to live performances late last spring, but most companies waited until the ...


Gay News

Billy Porter discusses his fashion choices, personal ambitions 2023-01-30
- Billy Porter—the Tony, Emmy and Grammy winner—needs no introduction—especially to the many fans of his character Pray Tell on Ryan Murphy's hit TV series Pose. Coming up exclusively in theaters Feb. 3, Porter will star as ...


Gay News

Des Plaines Theater cancels anti-LGBTQ hate group event after outcry from citizens 2023-01-20
- DuPage County-based Awake Illinois was set to hold an event called "Out of the Echo Chamber: Coalition for Kids" at the city-owned, but not city-operated, Des Plaines Theatre Wednesday, Feb. 8. This event has now been ...


Gay News

Theater Review: tick, tick...BOOM! 2023-01-19
- One of the wonders of live theater is that old works can be revived and reinterpreted to respond to changes in culture and society. Often a new directorial approach can make tried-and-true material feel fresh and ...


Gay News

Theater Review: Princess Ivona is a dark but comic portrait of power 2023-01-19
- Playwright: Witold Gombrowicz. At: Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland St. Tickets: 773-384-0494 or www.trapdoortheatre.com; $25 (two-for-one admission Thursdays) Runs through Feb. 18 Trap Door Theatre is now tackling the ...


Gay News

Jordan Vasquez treats Chicago to Fosse's Chicago 2023-01-12
- Actor and openly gay performer Jordan Vasquez, an Illinois native now living in New York City, is giving Chicago audiences "the old razzle dazzle" in the fabulous musical Chicago. This dynamically talented performer brings with him ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Diversity report, Dave Bautista, Leslie Jordan, greatest singers 2023-01-08
- The USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative's latest "Inclusion in the Director's Chair" report analyzes the gender and race/ethnicity of the directors behind last year's 100 highest-grossing movies in the country, while the San Diego State Center ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Best in theater, TV, film and music; Obama's favorites; 'Glass Onion' 2022-12-31
- Deadline's Broadway critic revealed his picks for the best of 2022. Leopoldstadt topped his list, but other productions included Kimberly Akimbo, Some Like It Hot, Into the Woods, Hangmen, Ain't No Mo', A Strange Loop, Topdog/Underdog, ...


Gay News

PrideArts, Chicago drag artists co-produce story of a drag family's tribulations 2022-12-22
-- From a press release - CHICAGO — PrideArts will celebrate the arrival of the year 2023 by teaming up with the Chicago drag performers Tirrany Reigns and Ramona Mirage to stage Reigns' original Queer Family Dramedy, set just after New Year's ...


Gay News

Oak Park Festival Theatre makes history with new artistic director 2022-12-20
- The Oak Park Festival Theatre (OPFT)—the oldest professional classical theater in the Midwest—announced that Peter G. Andersen will be joining the company as its new artistic director in January 2023. It is the first time that a person ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Best and worst films, Broadway, Adam Lambert, 'Proud Family,' women's hockey 2022-12-18
- IndieWire revealed its list of the best LGBTQ+ films and TV series of 2022. Just some of the selections included Benediction, Bros, Do Revenge, Fire Island, Everything Everywhere All At Once, The Inspection, Los Espookys, P-Valley, ...


Gay News

Life is a Cabaret for James Harkness these days 2022-12-14
- Out performer James Harkness is one of the many performers in Cabaret ZaZou's Luminaire, the latest project from the creative team behind the successful show Teatro ZinZanni. Currently in an open run since Sept. 7, 2022, ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Jerrod Carmichael, 'Heartstopper,' Lena Waithe, Gyllenhaal, Cher 2022-12-11
- Out comedian Jerrod Carmichael will host the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards, Deadline reported. After a yearlong hiatus, the three-hour telecast will air on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023 from The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills on NBC and ...


Gay News

Theater Review: Mosque4Mosque 2022-12-09
- Author: Omer Abbas Salem. At: About Face Theatre at The Den Tickets: www.thedentheatre.com; $7.50-$41.25. Runs through: Dec. 17 Sara and her children are Syrian immigrants with a nice suburban house. Sara (Rula Gardenier) is an accountant, ...


Gay News

Michael Horvich: A caregiver remembers his talented husband 2022-12-07
- Michael Horvich has had many roles in his lifetime, among them teacher, photographer and author. However, one of his most important was being caregiver to Gregory Maire—Horvich's husband of 41 years, who died in 2015. Maire ...


 




Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our 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.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.