Sunday, Dec 16, 2018
 
search SGN
Sunday, Dec 16, 2018
click to go to click to visit advertiser's website


 

 

Speakeasy Speed Test

Cost of the
War in Iraq
(JavaScript Error)
 

 

click to go to advertisers website
 
The Color Purple in Seattle: BOOK - MOVIE - MUSICAL
The Color Purple in Seattle: BOOK - MOVIE - MUSICAL
by Eric Andrews-Katz - SGN Contributing Writer

In its two decades of life, The Color Purple has made many transitions. Originally a novel written by Alice Walker in 1982, it quickly rose to the best seller's list, became a Hollywood movie and is now in its third form of a Broadway musical. No matter which of its incarnations it assumes, it has come to both critical and popular acclaim and challenges, and has gone on to win national awards and honors.

The story tells the tale of love - the love between women, to be specific. There is the love between sisters, the love of friends, spiritual love and the pleasures and pitfalls of romance. At the heart is Celie, an abused, poor black girl in rural 1930s Georgia. Pushed away from an abusive father, she is separated from her younger sister Nettie, the only person who has ever shown her affection. Given in marriage to a man that barely tolerates her, she is alone, speaking only when spoken to, or in the privacy of her heart to God. When she meets her husband's mistress, a brassy blues singer named Shug, Cellie learns what it means to experience love for the first time. She eventually finds her strength and voice, carving a place in the world where she can find inner, outer and spiritual peace.

Alice Walker (b. 1944) was born the daughter of sharecroppers and first published The Color Purple in 1982. Drawn from her own whispered-down ancestral tales and personal experiences, the story is told through personal diary entries and letters centering on Celie and her view of the world around her. Exposing a financially poor and often brutal way of African-American life, the book drew great critical acclaim in positive and negative forms. Some dismissed the book for its vivid portrayal of violent men. Others critiqued its descriptive passages of abuse and graphic sexual details. All this and more led its way to being on the list of the most frequently targeted banned books (of the '90s) in the United States. The novel's true voice was still heard above all the negative commotions and it went on to win not only the National Book Award, but also the 1983 Pulitzer Prize Award for Fiction.

The impresario Steven Spielberg produced the movie of the same name in 1985. The cast starred Oprah Winfrey (Sofia), Danny Glover (Albert), Lawrence Fishborne (in a small role as "Swain") and Whoopi Goldberg (Celie) who made her cinematic debut in the role. The role of Celie was offered to Tina Turner who, after reading the script, allegedly said, "No thanks. I lived it." The movie received some of the same criticisms as its predecessor, but in compromising for a larger audience, it toned down both the violence and the sexual matter of the original novel. The film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards but won none of them, setting off an entirely new round of controversies.

On December 1, 2005, The Color Purple resurfaced, this time on Broadway in a musical adaptation. Pulitzer Prize-winning Marsha Norman (Night Mother) wrote the book, while Broadway newcomers Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray write the lyrics and music. Mixing gospel, soul and early rock influences into the music, the team often ransacked the kitchen for spoons, graters and glasses to imitate rustic sounds and rural forms when writing the piece. With a distinguished production team including Quincy Jones and Oprah Winfrey, who is also an investor, the musical starred Felicia P. Fields (who recreates her Tony-nominated role in the current touring production) as Sofia and a Broadway debut of Elisabeth Withers-Mendes as Shug Avery. The musical played more than two years (910 performances) on Broadway and continued to earn five 2006 Outer Critics Circle Awards. With 11 Tony Award nominations including Best Score, Best Supporting Actress in a Musical and Best Musical, it won only the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for LaChanze (Once on this Island) in her role as Celie.

The title is a quote from the book itself. While Shug and Celie are having one of many talks, Shug says: "I think it pisses God off if we walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't take notice." This simple statement resonates throughout no matter which of the forms The Color Purple takes; book, movie or musical. The story is human and goes beyond the gender, the social status or the skin color of all those who experience it.

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog


: http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2008

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News