Just in time for the busy holiday season on Broadway, when every production is packed with visiting tourists, one epic show opened at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre that should be required viewing for any theater lover: The Color Purple. The revival, an adaptation of Alice Walker’s 1982 Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same name and had its original debut on Broadway in 2004, is set in rural Georgia and stars newcomer Cynthia Erivo as Celie, a woman who finds her inner power to fight against the monstrosities that men have thrown at her with the help of confident women.
Those women just happen to be Jennifer Hudson as Shug Avery, the sex kitten singer who charms everyone in her path, and Orange Is the New Black’s Danielle Brooks as Sofia, a woman who doesn’t let any man hold her down. It’s a powerful show with a powerful message: Women are beautiful and strong creatures.
But be warned: the vocal capabilities of these three ladies will send chills down your spine (and tears down your faces). They each have a bonafide showstopper. Brooks will wow you with “Hell No,” Hudson will get you snapping your fingers to “Push Da Button,” and every time Erivo sings you will listen. When Erivo hits you with “I’m Here” in Act II, it’s time to reach for the tissues. Vocals aside, what is truly amazing with this show is the sense of camaraderie, both on-stage with the women, who are clearly close friends, and off, with the audience fully engaged in the production (expect some cheers and mid-act standing ovations).
The celebrity set is already getting the memo that it’s a must-see: The show officially opened last night, and Brooks’s OITNB co-stars all showed up to support her, including Taylor Schilling, and Uzo Aduba, Laverne Cox. (Don’t worry, Alex saw it too: We spotted Laura Prepon earlier in the week when we previewed the show.) Later, the cast celebrated at the Copacabana alongside fellow Broadway stars like Neil Patrick Harris, Patina Miller, as well as The Wiz’s Shanice Williams and the writer The Color Purple herself, Alice Walker.
We can't say it enough: This show is captivating. Don’t miss it.
Scroll down to see some of the highlights. Tickets for the show are available at colorpurple.com.