So a couple weeks ago, I’m goofing off on Instagram and I post this picture from the YBF of Cam Newton in these horrid Versace pants headed to the Super Bowl.
I like Cam; the pants are hilarious. And Cam, who already was catching hell from being arrogant or unsportsmanlike (ie for being a Black quarterback) put on these pants, I think, as a gigantic FU to all the folks coming for him. I’m here for all of it!
So my readers, mostly Cam fans, are ki-kiing with me over the pants and how Cam gives no damns. They’re posting and sharing, and someway, somehow the PR director for The Color Purple on Broadway gets wind of our social media shennaingans. She hits me to say she’s cracking up, and as I’m clearly a fan of the book/film, would I be interested in seeing the show on Broadway?
I saw it opening night about a decade ago and it was beautiful then. Oprah was there in a glorious brown ballgown and I remember seeing James Earl Jones standing in line for the men’s room. (Legends, they’re just like us). I also remember the closing song, “The Color Purple”. I bought the sidetrack just for the song, and have been playing it on repeat for years. It has the same effect on me as “I Will Survive”.
My parents would be in town soon, so I asked for two tickets to treat my mom to the show while she was here. (My dad occupied himself with a business meeting.)
There have been lots of changes to the show since I last saw it. It’s paired down on costumes and set design, which isn’t a bad thing, but the “wow” factor of the music, which was already glorious, has been quadrupled. If you saw the show in the early years, it’s worth circling back for another visit— and soon.
Jennifer Hudson and Danielle Brooks (“Tastee” from Orange is the New Black) are playing Shug Avery and Miss Sophia, respectively. I admit, I was a bit skeptical about Hudson as “Shug”, not for the singing, of course, but because she doesn’t look like movie- Shug. But hunty, that woman gave her life on that stage. She is Shug Avery! I knew Brooks could carry a tune from watching her on OITNB, but baby girl can blow. She was an awesome Miss Sophia.
And last but not least, I gotta talk about Cynthia Erivo, who plays “Celie”. She’s not a big name outside of Broadway circles, and she’s a teeny woman, but when she lets loose? My God! I’ve read The Color Purple, seen the movie a million times (and I always cry at the end). Do you know I sat in that theatre and cried FOUR times during the show?! I was THAT MOVED!!!! Baby Girl was singing right along with JHud, and holding her own. That’s saying A LOT!!! I will show up for absolutely whatever performances Erivo gives in the future.
The next time you are in Midtown, grab your mama, your sister, and your sister-friends and treat yourself to the show! In the meantime, also pick up the cast soundtrack that dropped last week.
Oh, and one more thing, the theatre is gorgeous. You know I go gaga for architecture and design, and the Bernard B. Jacobs theatre (1927) with its then-“modern Spanish style” is breathtaking. I caught a few details before the lights went down.Check em out: