Harmon’s Event Journal

Color purple goldstar
Saturday August 17, 2013 / 8:00pm
The Color Purple
2 tickets
Assigned at Box Office

How was your experience?

Clear I hated it I didn't like it It was OK I liked it I loved it!
First of all, the Bad. This is a misandristic feminist musical play. The men are violent, stupid or foolish people. The women are oppressed, heroic, or innately good. It is also sexually vulgar, to the point of embarrassment, as staged. This opinion was clearly not shared by, or was irrelevent to, most other people at the performance I attended, which was close to a full house. The audience was engaged, highly entertained, and responded enthusiastically and vocally to the performance. It got the now obligatory standing ovation, which was arguably deserved in this instance (for the performance, not the play). Which brings me to the Good. The play is very well cast, from the stars to the background characters (some of whom were in multiple roles). The actors were convincing, even when broadly drawn. It is full of energy and highly enjoyable, albeit not memorable, music. It is astounding to me that this play, which has a large physical presence at times, is so well choreographed on the relatively small stage at the Mercury. (I saw Barnum at the Mercury, which was also a large play marvelously presented on a small stage.) And the costuming is superb - I would not be surprised if they are given the Jeff Award for Costume Design. The comic relief, in the form of a trio of women who comment on the action, is delightful. So, if you can get past the Bad, you will thoroughly enjoy the Good. I did. As an aside, be sure to read the program notes about the actors. These people are not mere performers. The day jobs some of them have would be impressive enough. Add in their thespian skills, and you just have to wonder where they find the time.

Help others enjoy a great night out

Don't put anything you don't want to get wet on the floor. The theatre allows you to bring a cup of water into the seating area, and the floor is sloped. Spilling is inevitable, and the water will head for under your seat.
Bring or wear a light jacket or sweater or a long sleeved shirt. The air conditioning is set to low, and in our seats in the 5th row, blew right on us.
This is a loud play - there are some serious musical lungs on stage, and they are amplified. If you sit where we did, in the 5th row, you will be stunned now & then. I advise getting seats no closer than Row J.