The Color Purple
Marsha Norman, based on Alice Walker’s novel
“The Color Purple”, "I'm Here"
The musical is based on the famous novel of the same name written by Alice Walker. Walker won the Pulitzer Prize for the novel. The script for the musical is written by Marsha Norman while Brenda Russel, Stephen Bray and Allee Williams collaborate on the musical to write the music and lyrics. Since its release, it has been performed extensively all over the US.
When the notion of adapting The Color Purple for the stage was first put forth by producer Scott Sanders, it was taken to be a stupid idea by many critics. Despite the fact that there was potentially a lot of theatrical value in the script, it was questioned whether the essence of the story could be captured through songs and dance. The story deals with some highly sensitive subjects like spiritual crisis, infanticide, racial oppression and sexual and domestic violence against women. The other problem was that Stephen Spielberg had already adapted the novel in to a memorable award winning film, which the critics were sure, would always overshadow a stage production of the story. However, Scott Sanders realized that music was a medium that transcends words and would be able to capture the emotional appeal in a way, no other medium could. That though kept him going for eight years, pursuing the sponsors and backing the creative team that would be able to replicate that emotion on stage.
The musical premiered on Broadway on the first of December 2005 and opened at the Broadway Theater. Directed by Gary Griffin, it was produced by Scott Sanders, Oprah Winfrey and Quincy Jones. The musical was a massive success and ran for more than two years, finally closing on the 24th of February, 2008. It had been staged regularly more than nine hundred times with almost thirty previews by the time of its closing. The production was a financial success as well, grossing over a hundred million dollars to date. The producers were able to recoup their investment of almost eleven million dollars within the musical’s first year at Broadway. The Broadway production further cemented its star status by earning a whopping eleven Tony Award nominations that Award season. These nominations included Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Book. LaChanze, who played the lead role of Celie, won the Tony Award for Best Actress. After a hiatus, the musical is back once again. Featuring an amazing sound track, the show offers a wonderful mixture of blues, gospel, ragtime, African music and jazz. So if you are a fan of the novel, or just an avid theater fan, then do not miss this musical and buy your The Color Purple tickets now.