Oprah Winfrey Presents The Color Purple at the Ahmanson
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The last date listed for The Color Purple was Friday February 29, 2008 / 8:00pm.
Quotes & Highlights
See a video featuring footage from Opening Night and photos of the show.
The story begins in rural Georgia in 1909 when 14-year-old Celie, pregnant for the second time, plays a clapping game with her beloved sister Nettie. After she gives birth, her father takes the baby from her and tells her not to tell anybody except God what happened. A few years later, her father sells her into marriage to a local farmer, Mister. Later, Nettie takes refuge from her father with Celie and Mister, only to be attacked by Mister, who then throws her out and forbids the sisters ever to communicate again.
Mister’s son, Harpo, grows up and soon brings home Sofia, a proud and strong-willed woman. Mister tells Harpo to beat Sofia to get her to obey, but Sofia is victorious in beating Harpo instead. Sofia’s sisters arrive to take her away, and she tries to get Celie to come with her, but she won’t. Harpo turns his home into a juke joint and hires a new waitress, Squeak, to work there, and she soon moves in with Harpo.
The whole town prepares for the arrival of Shug Avery, a sexy singer who is Mister’s longtime lover. But when Shug arrives, she is in such bad shape that he brings her home where Celie nurses her back to health. Celie and Shug develop love for each other. When Shug sings at Harpo’s Juke Joint, Sofia returns with her new boyfriend and gets into a fight with Squeak. Shug gives Celie a letter she found from “someone in Africa, goin’ by the stamps.” Celie recognizes Nettie’s handwriting and knows instantly that her beloved sister is alive.
Celie discovers the rest of the numerous letters that Mister has hidden over the years, and learns that Nettie traveled to Africa with the missionary family that also adopted Celie’s babies, and that they are now residing in an African refugee camp.
Meanwhile, in Georgia, Sofia has been beaten and thrown into jail for punching the mayor, and Sophia has to serve out her sentence in the custody of the Mayor’s wife. Twelve years later, Sofia and Shug both return home for Easter. Shug invites Celie to come live with her and her new husband in Memphis.
Celie tells Mister that she is leaving. Squeak is off to Memphis also, stating that she wants to sing. Harpo defends her choice to his father, and long after they leave, he invites Sofia to come back and live at the Juke Joint, reconciling with her in the process. Soon, Mister is drunk nearly all of the time, and is shunned by everyone.
At Shug’s house in Memphis, Celie discovers that she has a natural gift for making pants. When she inherits the house she once lived and grew up in, she goes home and starts a business selling her unique designs. Mister changes his ways and tries to help Sofia’s sickly youngest child Henrietta. Then he locates Nettie, who is having some difficulty getting home from Africa. He works with Shug to arrange for a reunion.