The Story
The Color Purple
Music & Lyrics
BRENDA RUSSELL, ALLEE WILLIES, STEPHEN BRAY

Book
MARSHA NORMAN
This musical is based on the Pulitzer award-winning novel of Alice Walker and the moving film by Steven Spielberg. It is an inspiring family saga that tells the unforgettable story of a woman who - through love - finds the strength to triumph over adversity and discover her unique voice in the world. Set to a joyous score featuring jazz, ragtime, gospel, and the blues, this musical is a story of hope, a testament to the healing power oflove and a celebration of life.

PHOTOS
Original Broadway Production
Original London Production
2015 Broadway Production
Artworks/ Posters

VIDEOS
La Chanze and Felicia P. Fields lead the original 2005 Broadway cast in a performance of 'Hell No!' and 'The Color Purple' at the Tony Awards.

MUSIC
What About Love?
Cynthia Erivo & Jennifer Hudson
2015 Broadway Cast Recording

THE STORY

ACT ONE

As the story begins, it is Sunday morning in rural Georgia, 1909. "Po' chil" (Poor child) Celie, 14 years old and pregnant for the second time, is playing a clapping game with her beloved sister Nettie ("Huckleberry Pie"). When she comes to church with her sister and their Pa, Celie goes into labor before the service ends ("Mysterious Ways"). Later, Pa takes Celie's baby from her arms ("Somebody Gonna Love You"), saying he is going to get rid of it, "same as the last one," and that she better not tell anybody except God what happened. Celie asks God for a sign, something that will let her know what is happening to her.

A few years later, when a local farmer, Mister, needs a wife to take care of his children, Pa says Nettie is too young, but offers him Celie instead, and throws a cow into a bargain. Although the girls vow never to be parted ("Our Prayer"), Celie goes with Mister to save Nettie's dreams of becoming a teacher. As the local Church Ladies cluck their approval ("That Fine Mister"), Mister's fieldhands introduce Celie to her life of hard work at Mister's ("Big Dog"). Nettie arrives one day, having fled from Pa's lecherous attentions, and asks if she can stay. Mister agrees, but then attacks Nettie on her way to school. When she fights back, he throws her off his property, swearing that the girls will never see each other again ("Lily of the Field"). Nettie promises to write to Celie as she is cast away from Mister's home. However, when Celie attempts to open the mailbox, Mister promptly rebuffs her, threatening her with death if she ever touches it again.

Mister's son, Harpo, grows up and soon brings home Sofia, a proud and strong-willed woman ("Dear God - Sofia") whom he loves and later marries. But eventually, Harpo tires of being bossed around by Sofia. Mister tells him he has to beat Sofia if he wants her to mind. Even Celie, who has endured such abuse from Mister, agrees this is the only way to make a woman "jump when he says to." But Sofia gives as good as she gets ("A Tree Named Sofia"), and is victorious in beating Harpo instead. Angered by Celie's suggestion, she confronts her ("Hell No!"), but her anger subsides when Sofia realizes how much Celie has suffered from Mister's cruelty. Not long after that, Sofia's sisters arrive to take her away. Sofia tries to convince Celie to come with her, but she declines. Left alone, Harpo turns his home into a juke joint and hires a new waitress, Squeak, to work there ("Brown Betty"). Love-stricken, Squeak soon moves in with Harpo.

The whole town prepares for the arrival of Shug Avery, a sexy singer who is Mister's longtime lover ("Shug Avery Comin' to Town"). But when Shug arrives, she is in such bad shape that in spite of local disapproval ("All We've Got to Say"), Mister brings her home where Celie nurses her back to health ("Dear God - Shug"). As Celie takes care of Shug, she begins to experience feelings of affection and tenderness for the first time, as Shug befriends her ("Too Beautiful for Words"). When Shug sings at Harpo's Juke Joint ("Push Da Button"), Sofia returns with her new boyfriend and gets into a fight with Squeak ("Uh Oh!"). In Mister's house, Shug and Celie explore their newfound love for each other ("What About Love?"). 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 ("Act I Finale").


ACT TWO

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 ("African Homeland"). Meanwhile, in Georgia, Sofia has been beaten and thrown into jail for punching the mayor. (When his wife asks Sofia to be her maid, and Sofia refuses, the mayor decides to intervene and is then subjected to Sofia?s harsh temper.) Celie goes to the jail to comfort her, and learns that Sofia will have to serve out her sentence in the custody of the Mayor?s wife, thus reducing her to the very thing she fought so hard against. Twelve years later, Sofia and Shug both return home for Easter. Shug discovers the extent of Celie?s anger towards God ("The Color Purple") and invites her to come live with her and her new husband in Memphis.

After Easter dinner ("Church Ladies? Easter"), Celie tells Mister that she is leaving. He protests and she finally confronts him about his cruel treatment of her over the years ("I Curse You, Mister"). 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 begins to feel the effect of Celie?s curse. He?s drunk nearly all of the time, and is shunned by everyone. Harpo challenges his father to make things right with Celie, and Mister attempts to understand what that might mean. ("Mister's Song - Celie?s Curse").

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 ("Miss Celie?s Pants"). Mister tries to help Sofia?s sickly youngest child Henrietta, and even Celie has to admit that Mister is trying to change. Harpo and Sofia are spending a pleasant night at home ("Any Little Thing") when Mister comes to tell them that he has found Nettie, but that she is having some difficulty getting home from Africa. Shug tells Celie that she has fallen in love with a young flute player, and asks her to let her have one last fling with him ("What About Love? Reprise"). Walking home, Celie realizes that she isn?t destroyed by this, and feels a deep love for herself, for the very first time ("I?m Here").

1949. As the whole community is gathered for a Fourth of July picnic at Celie?s home, Celie hears a car horn, then a familiar song from her childhood. Nettie runs towards the house, with Celie?s adult children following close behind. Mister and Shug have made this reunion possible, and Celie thanks them, and God, for the safe return of her family. ("The Color Purple - Reprise").

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CAST & CREATIVES
Creative
Direction JOHN DOYLE
Cast
Celie CYNTHIA ERIVO
Shug Avery JENNIFER HUDSON
Nettie JOAQUINA KALUKANGO
Sofia DANIELLE BROOKS
Harpo KYLE SCATLIFFE
Mister ISAIAH JOHNSON
Creative
Direction JOHN DOYLE
Choreography ANN YEE
Set Design JOHN DOYLE
Costume Design MATTHEW WRIGHT
Lighting Design JANE COX
Sound Design GREGPRY CLARKE
Cast
Celie CYNTHIA ERIVO
Shug Avery NICOLA HUGHES
Nettie ABIONA OMONUA
Sofia SOPHIA NOMVETE
Harpo ADEBAYO BOLAJI
Mister CHRISTOPHER COLQUHOUN
Squeak LAKESHA CAMMOCK
Creative
Producer OPRAH WINFREY , SCOTT SANDERS, ROY FURMAN, QUINCY JONES, CREATIVE BATTERY, ANNA FANTACI, CHERYL LACHOWICZ, INDEPENDENT PRESENTERS NETWORK, DAVID LOWY, STEPHANIE MCCLELLAND, GARY WINNICK, JAN KALLISH, NEDERLANDER PRESENTATIONS, INC., BOB WEINSTEIN, HARVEY WEINSTEIN, ANDREW ASNES, ADAM ZOTOVICH, TODD JOHNSON
Direction GARY GRIFFIN
Musical Staging DONALD BYRD
Orchestrations JONATHAN TUNICK
Scenic Design JOHN LEE BEATTY
Costume Design PAUL TAZEWELL
Lighting Design BRIAN MACDEVITT
Sound Design JON WESTON
Cast
Celie LA CHANZE
Shug Avery ELIZABETH WITHERS-MENDES
Nettie RENEE ELISE GOLDSBERRY
Sofia FELICIA P. FIELDS
Harpo BRANDON VICTOR DIXON
Mister KINGSLEY LEGGS
Squeak KRISHA MARCANO
MUSICAL NUMBERS
ACT ONE

Huckelberry Pie Young Celie and Young Nettie
Mysterious WaysChurch Soloist, Church Ladies and Company
Somebody Gonna Love YouCelie
Our PrayerNettie, Celie and Mister
Big Dog Mister and Field Hands
Hell No!Sofia and Sisters
Brown Betty Harpo, Men and Squeak
Shug Avery Comin' to Town Mister, Celie and Company
Too Beautiful for WordsShug Avery
Push Da Button Shug Avery and Company
Uh-Oh!Church Ladies, Sofia and Squeak
What About Love?Celie and Shug Avery


ACT TWO

African HomelandNettie, Celie, Olivia, Adam and Villagers
The Color PurpleShug Avery
Mister's SongMister
Miss Celie's PantsCelie, Shug Avery, Sofia and Women
Any Little ThingHarpo and Sofia
I'm HereCelie
The Color Purple (Reprise)Celie, Nettie and Company

Othello: The Remix
Carrie
Violet
SIGHTS & SOUNDS

Original Broadway Production
Original London Production
2015 Broadway Production
Artworks/ Posters

La Chanze and Felicia P. Fields lead the original 2005 Broadway cast in a performance of 'Hell No!' and 'The Color Purple' at the Tony Awards.

I'm Here La Chanze Original Broadway Cast Recording
What About Love? Cynthia Erivo & Jennifer Hudson 2015 Broadway Cast Recording
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