The Color Purple: Love and Redemption Now Playing in Tampa

Disclaimer: I received tickets to The Color Purple as opportunity through the Tampa Bay Bloggers and the Straz Center for the purpose of this review. The opinions shared are my own.

“I love Shug.”

“Everybody love Shug.”

Decades ago, Celie and Shug stole my heart. When Shug shakes her shimmy belting out Miss Celie’s Blues in film version of The Color Purple, I became smitten by Shug’s softer side.

Throughout the movie, as Celie finds her strength and voice to stand up for herself, Shug finds redemption which is illustrated in God Is Trying To Telling You Somethin’ scene at her father’s church.

But forget all you love about the film version of The Color Purple and embrace the themes that unfold between the covers of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel; those themes are powerfully portrayed on stage in The Color Purple, The Musical.

What you love so much about the characters of The Color Purple are represented with larger than life vocals that will make your hair stand on end and send chills down your spine.

A barebones set allows the music to paint the story in true storytelling fashion. The ragtime, blues, gospel and jazz infusion of music illustrates a tale more colorful than any constructed set.

And the vocals will wow you. Picture the spunk of a strong Sofia, that girth, grit and strength matched by the empowering vocals of Carrie Compere. Compere perfectly portrays Sofia’s fortitude in “HELL NO!”

Carrie Compere (Sofia) and the cast of THE COLOR PURPLE. Photo credit: Matthew Murphy

Carrie Compere (Sofia) and the cast of THE COLOR PURPLE. Photo credit: Matthew Murphy

Now, picture in your mind the boldness, confidence and sexuality of Shug. Celie’s gentleness, love and tender touch cracks Shug’s tough exterior revealing a softer side to Shug. Through Sofia’s strength and Shug’s love, Celie finds her voice. The incredible vocals of Adrianna Hicks (Shug) and Carla R. Stewart (Celie) beautifully exemplifies the unbreakable beautiful bond Shug and Celie share. Warning: Their duet at the end of Act One “What About Love?”will cause your eyes to leak.

Carla R. Stewart (Shug Avery) and the cast of THE COLOR PURPLE -Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy

Carla R. Stewart (Shug Avery) and the cast of THE COLOR PURPLE -Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy

In a beaten, broken, dark, ugly cruel world, Celie also finds strength and beauty in the unconditional love she carries for her sister; knowing Nelly is still alive and caring for her two children, Olivia and Adam in Africa.

However,“I’m Here” becomes Celie’s war cry. Once Celie breaks out of the chains of her mental and physical prison, the tables begin turn on Albert, her husband until penance comes into play. Out of the broken, beaten, ugly world rises a beautiful, talented and fierce Celie. Love, strength, courage and redemption make The Color Purple a classic musical must-see.
I'm Here - Celie - The Color Purple

Make a joyful noise at The Color Purple!

Now playing at the Straz Center until Sunday, March 11.
Visit strazcenter.org for tickets and showtimes.

Leave a Reply