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  The Color Purple Reviews
The Color Purple
The Color Purple

The Color Purple
Drury Lane- Oakbrook
Thru - Nov 3, 2019

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Show Information


Drury Lane- Oakbrook

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Recommended

"...So my work has led me to this show nine times before, but I can honestly say that I’ve enjoyed it every time. And, sitting in Oakbrook Terrace Thursday night, I was struck by all the gasps of surprise at the plot points, many of which bespeak of the range of human cruelty. As with any musical, there is always a new audience. And, frankly, it was pretty clear Thursday that many people around me had never read this book. Maybe that will change with the next coming development in the story of “The Color Purple,” which is the movie of the musical, soon to be coming your way."
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Chris Jones



Chicago Sun Times- Highly Recommended

"...Under music director Jermaine Hill, Brown’s 19-strong ensemble does right by the show’s magnificent score. There are come-to-glory gospel hymns, down-and-dirty bump-and-grinds, jazz that stutters, dips and dives, and gorgeous alto arias as rich and ripe as an orchard in summer. When Lorenzo Rush Jr. leads the choir in “Mysterious Ways,” he ignites a fire that could sanctify an atheist. When the ensemble finishes the final, ethereal notes of the title tune, the harmonies don’t seem of this earth."
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Catey Sullivan



Daily Herald- Highly Recommended

"...Like director John Doyle's Tony Award-winning 2015 Broadway revival, the look of Drury Lane's "Color Purple" is effectively simple and stark in designer Arnel Sancianco's set of wooden planks and platforms. But there's also room for effective projection designs from Paul Deziel who illustrates both inner thoughts and a journey across the sea. Lighting designer Cat Wilson also allows for establishing silhouettes that bring to mind the signature paper cutouts of modern American artist Kara Walker."
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Scott C. Morgan



Chicago Reader- Highly Recommended

"...The score for this show is so successful it almost doesn't need a book. Good thing, because it almost doesn't have one. Marsha Norman does the bare minimum with Walker's story to keep it going—she sets scenes, introduces characters, and then gets out of the way. But with a production as thoroughly entertaining as this one, that is just an observation, not a criticism."
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Jack Helbig



Let's Play at ChicagoNow- Highly Recommended

"...Walker's unflinching narrative which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction; demands a significant emotional investment. The Color Purple's controversial subject manner, violence, and abusive storyline were frequently challenged. However, it's now a positive example; helping others to overcome the strife of an abusive relationship and finding your healing spirituality in God."
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Rick and Brenda McCain



Around The Town Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...There was a buzz at Drury Lane Theatre, both before the opening of “The Color Purple” and even louder after. Many of us know the film and play from the past ( and of course “Oprah”), but the changes made to this marvelous story are powerful. The music in this musical (Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray) is powerful and adds to the story. The book by Marsha Norman is based on the novel written by Alice Walker and the Warner Brothers film, as we are told a story that takes place between 1911 and 1945 in rural Georgia. The times were different."
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Alan Bresloff



Chicago Theatre Review- Highly Recommended

"...This production rewards its audience with so much. It features exciting performances, gorgeous music, sassy choreography and dramatic spectacle. The show offers an abundance of wonder and joy that would make Alice Walker so proud to see how beautifully her emotion-filled novel has been brought to life. It’s all thanks to the vision and artistry of master director Lili-Anne Brown, her multitalented cast and her gifted production team. And What About Love? Well, it radiates from the Drury Lane stage and into the heart and soul of every theatergoer in this stellar, Broadway calibre production that gleams with brilliance in Oakbrook Terrace."
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Colin Douglas



Chicagoland Theater Reviews- Recommended

"...“The Color Purple” will be of obvious special interest to black viewers, but it is a show that doesn’t play a race card. It does display its feminist credentials with gusto. I admired rather than liked the show. The relentless abuse inflicted on Celie turned too much of the story into an emotional monotone, but I have no complaints about the performances and staging."
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Dan Zeff



Chicago On Stage- Highly Recommended

"...This is a play that ultimately celebrates the potent forces of love and spirituality, which Celie finds in her life despite all of the darkness that befalls her. When she looks at herself in a mirror and declares, “I am beautiful,” it doesn’t erase the suffering she has done, but it shows her overcoming the pain. With the help of her sister, her friends, and even Mister, she succeeds in finding joy in a world that too often has taken it away from her. Her journey reflects both the struggles of Black American women and the unyielding faith that things can be better, even if it sometimes seems that everything, including God, has left you behind."
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Karen Topham



PicksInSix- Highly Recommended

"...Brown, who has had a matchless run of successful directing projects in Chicago and elsewhere, has amassed another top-flight creative team for her first show at Drury Lane. Scenic designer Arnel Sancianco has fashioned a rustic, versatile, multi-level period set that is enhanced by Paul Deziel dynamic projections and lighting by Cat Wilson, and that serves as a perfect setting for Samantha C. Jones striking costumes, which preserve the historical traditions of the time. Moving and uplifting in its spirit, Drury Lane’s production of “The Color Purple” is a joyous celebration of faith, perseverance and independence."
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Ed Tracy



Picture This Post- Highly Recommended

"...Full of passion and honesty, Lilli-Ann Brown’s production of The Color Purple is one that should not be missed. From the look of the standing ovation that followed the Opening performance, it feels to safe to say that this writer is not alone in her opinion."
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Lauren Katz