Women finally wear the pants

“The Color Purple” exemplifies the power of femininity


Photo: Cary Robbins

The Color Purple celebrates the power of women. It was preformed at the Orpheum during February.

Taking place in 1930s Georgia, “The Color Purple” tells the story of Miss Celie, a young African American woman who has been taken away from her sister to marry a stranger.  Through Miss Celie’s struggles of withstanding her new husband’s abuse, this play inspires women to stand up for themselves and the people they love.

I went to see this play because the book is one of my favorites, and I was excited that I would be able to see this performed live. “The Color Purple” was first a book by Alice Walker, which was then made into a movie and musical. The musical was performed in The Orpheum during February. Already my favorite book, it also became my favorite play.

All of the voices in the musical were powerful. The men’s voices were especially memorable, singing songs that were deep in range. The song “Big Dog” was sung by the men in the play, and it gave me chills. This was a musical with a lot of soul music, which was different but also enjoyable for me.

The set, simply a high wall of chairs, was the same throughout the entire play, which was interesting. Personally, I would have liked to see what other sets they might have used for different scenes; however, I think that being able to do an entire play with only one set is impressive because the audience’s eyes were always focused on the actors instead of the changing set. Overall, how the actors were able to manipulate the set was incredible because in every scene they would take down a chair from the wall and use it.

My favorite actress in this musical was Sofia, who was played by Carrie Compere. Her character was one of the most memorable characters in the book, so it only makes sense that she was the most memorable in the play. When she walked onto the stage, the whole audience was aware of her presence, even if she wasn’t talking at the moment. Her character had a flair about her, and I think Carrie Compere brought that character to life and was successful in capturing the audience’s attention.

My favorite scene of the show was when the protagonist Miss Celie, played by Adriana Hicks, finally found her voice, and she told her abusive husband that she was leaving him and going to live with her friend, Shug Avery. This scene was amazing because Hicks actually stood up on a chair which she took from the set. The symbolism of standing on the chair showed how much stronger physically and metaphorically she appeared when she stood up for herself to a man who had treated her so terribly. The women in the audience clapped for her powerful performance.

After she told her husband off, Miss Celie left her husband and moved to Memphis, where she started to make pants for both men and women. During this time, women did not wear pants, but Miss Celie wanted to show how women could do anything a man could. This scene lead to my favorite song, “Miss Celie’s Pants.” This song was fun and showed how Miss Celie finally understood that she didn’t need a man telling her what to do. She was the one who wore the pants in the house now, and she could do just fine on her own.

I give this play five stars, and I recommend it for everyone to see it, should it ever make a return to the Orpheum. It is an emotional roller coaster, but I have never smiled and laughed so hard during a play before I saw “The Color Purple.”