It’s Double Take December at Musical Cyberspace! Every musical pretty much has something one likes and something one doesn’t in it. This month I’ll be listing one of each for a range of musicals, a different one each day.
The Color Purple
Something I Like: I love the three gossips, Doris, Darlene, and Jarene, and my favourite of their links is “A Tree Named Sofia”. They are hysterical. And there are parts of Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray’s score that I really enjoy: the cute “Huckleberry Pie” song; the ambitious expository song, “Mysterious Ways”; the moving little snippet of music and lyrics, “Somebody Gonna Love You”; the Celie-Shug duet, “What About Love?”; and the catchy “Push Da Button” are just some of these.
Something I Don’t Like: For some reason, the musical version of The Color Purple doesn’t move me in the same way that either the book or the film do. There’s just something missing. Marsha Norman’s book seems to hold things together well enough, so I suspect the problem is in the score. There’s some great music in this show, but so much of it seems to be composed around the key moments in the narrative, rather than hitting all of the moments square on.
Feel free to share your “double take” on The Color Purple in the comment box!