Guest Author - Donna Ledbetter
Really, who needs an excuse to take a trip to New York? Itís one of the largest, busiest metropolitan areas on the East Coast. Itís the home of Wall Street, Yankees baseball, Motown, the Macyís Thanksgiving Day Parade. If these arenít reason enough for you to load up your car for the weekend to go, I donít know what else I could possibly say to convince you.
Maybe I could say to you those words that made Oprah shine for the first time in Hollywood, ďYou told Harpo to beat me?Ē
If you donít know by now, then let me tell you. Oprah Winfreyís musical The Color Purple has been on Broadway for quite a while, and itís the hottest ticket you can get since The Producers. People from all over the world are flocking to the show.
Most of you have probably seen the movie The Color Purple, directed by Stephen Speilberg and starring Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Glover. Both the movie and the musical are based on Alice Walkerís novel by the same name. Whether youíve seen the movie or read the book or both, youíll find attending the musical version very much worth a trip.
As someone who saw only the movie, I considered the musical an eye-opening experience. The musical includes scenes that are clearly missing from the film. If Speilberg were to have included these scenes, his film may not have made it to the box office. So if you think that your having seen the movie will ruin the suspense of the musical, it wonít. You will be pleasantly surprised.
And you will feel uplifted. The Color Purple is definitely a work about empowering women. Itís not just the story of a Black woman; itís the story of a woman, period. How many of us at one time or another have judged our self-worth through the eyes of a man? It could have been our father, our husband, or even a lover, but it was through their words and opinions that we developed our self esteem.
The Color Purple highlights the life of Ceily, a woman who has endured the negative effects of seeing herself through the eyes of uncaring men. And it is only through her relationships with women that she finds her inner strength.
Beyond the plot and story line, though, the musical works simply because it has all the elements of a great production. The choreography, the music, even technical things its like lighting and scene changes play a major role in the musicalís success. The actors and the scenery around them are enveloped in deep, dramatic hues, and the live orchestra before the stage uplifts the crowd as much it vitalizes the actors.
Tickets for the show in New York range from as low as $35 to as much as $200. I paid about $85 for my ticket, and that put me up on the second level, but not way in the back. However, if you can spring for the good seats, you should definitely do so.
Also, you must know that even when youíve bought your ticket in advance, youíll still have to stand in a line that curves down one long block and around before you can get in. Itís worth standing in line, though, because in New York, the shows start on time. I arrived 15 minutes before the show and got seated quickly, but by the time the overture started, there were still people coming in. Try to arrive early.
When you come to New York for the show, you can make it a day trip or a bit longer. Try to come during the week if you enjoy Late Night with David Letterman. The CBS Studios shop and the building where Late Night is taped are both just one block away from The Color Purpleís theater.
Travel Rating: 1
Entertainment Rating: 5
Utility Rating: 1