FORT MYERS, Florida – This production is simply AMAZING and it’s without a doubt one of the most unforgettable moving musicals I’ve seen on a Southwest Florida stage in a long time.
The Laboratory Theater in downtown Fort Myers comes back to life with a warm hallelujah and a touching hit filled with talented and truly dynamic actors.
If you liked Alice Walker’s 1982 novel and 1985 film starring Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey, you are going to love this musical.
At the head of the cast is the talented actress Ruthgena Faraco who does a miraculous job of playing Celie, a poor uneducated young girl subjected to a life of abuse.
Faraco delivers a breathtaking performance and his stage presence is undeniable and his fierce vocal and dramatic talents are no less than moving.
Celie is estranged from her beloved sister Nettie, played by Julissa Jean-Bart, who also brings a lot of soul and talent to the stage.
During their journey to reunite, Nettie is forced by her father, actor David Anderson, to marry an abusive man whom she calls Mister (Albert), convincingly portrayed by Robert Barner, who makes their life together. a hell.
Celie has to raise her sons, including older Harpo, a stark contrast to her father, and actor Cadrick Smith does a fantastic job with the loving character.
Harpo’s wife, however, Sofia is a larger than life character that actress Cantrella Canady handles by commanding the stage both dramatically and vocally while delivering a warm hymn “Hell No!” this will make you scream “Hell yeah!” “
Special mention must be given to actress Kim Hardin playing the beloved Shug Avery, the longtime mistress of Mister (Albert) who comes to visit her and forms a special friendship with Celie.
Hardin is a Christian music artist, however, notably a finalist at America’s Got Talent auditions in 2007 and her beautiful voice in the show is only suitable for delivering the title song.
Although there is limited directing in this show, the actors collectively emphasize the score with pure, natural raw talent.
The Color Purple is a story of abuse and deliverance as African American women find their independence at the turn of the 20th century. The show is definitely a mix of jazz, ragtime, gospel and blues combined to create an old-fashioned celebration filled with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments that hold your smile back.
If you want to move, I suggest you get a ticket while you still can.
This show was beautifully produced by Artistic Director Annette Trossback and directed by Sonya McCarter, a team that also includes musical direction by Earl Sparrow and choreography by Bianca Russell.
The Color Purple runs through October 2 at the Laboratory Theater in downtown Fort Myers.
Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 239-218-0481.