Here we have another great ‘Gala’ presentation with a terrific meal, all under-one-roof. “The Color Purple”, with an all Afro-American cast, is one of the best shows that the Alhambra Theater & Dining has put on since “Phantom”. Everyone in the cast is phenomenal!
Bravo to the creative genius of Producer/Director, Tod Booth, who has taken liberty to rewrite segments of the script which makes the show recognizable, yet totally amusing. Booth even created some new songs that are catchy, and apropos for the production.
Choreographer James Kinney has done it once again with his infectious dance routines that makes the audience want to join in, only if they could. The male ensemble has a dance routine that’s a finger snapping, toe tapping delight. It is to James’ credit that the ‘church ladies’ swing and sway their way up the aisles as they promenade from the stage in various musical numbers.
Cherry Hamlin (Celie), reminds you of a young Melba Moore in the way that she belts-out every note that she sings. Every part that she’s involved with is a marvelous treat to the ears.
Tarra Conner Jones (Sofia/Church Soloist) has an amazingly powerful voice & her acting is award-winning. You may not see her punch-out Harpo, or hit the mayor, but you can imagine her doing it. She does take a swing at (Squeak) Princess Nadia Hopkins, and you can hear the audience go, ‘Uh-oh’ right before the final blow. Squeak has some sexy moves of her own in the jook-joint scene right before the beat-down that Sofia gives her.
(Mister), played by Lamont Whitaker, is the character that you’ll dislike from the very beginning. He plays his role so well that the audience was hesitant to give him any accolade at the final curtain call. Now that’s true acting. He was so nice during the ‘meet & greet’ at the Gala, and deserves his share of applause.
Akia Uwanda (Jarene) has a sultry voice that is heard around numerous places in JAX. She is one of the ‘church ladies’ (Angela Roberts - Doris & Michelle Grant Darlene) who gossip their melodious lines in several music scores.
Even if you saw “The Color Purple” at Stage Aurora (some of the actresses were in both), this presentation at The Alhambra is in a league of its own. Don’t forget to take a look at the food items in the “List” article to follow.
“The Color Purple”
Dates: March 26 – April 27, 2014
Show Times: 8:00 p.m. for evening shows Tuesday through Sunday. Doors open at 5:45 p.m., and dinner will be served until 7:30 p.m. Matinees on Saturday are at 1:15 p.m. Doors open at 11:00 a.m. and the brunch starts at 11:15 a.m. Sunday matinee is at 2:00 p.m. Doors open at noon and the meal starts at 12:15 p.m.
Dress: “Business Casual” or “Sunday Best”.
Tickets: Regular pricing for tickets starts at $47.00. Preview night pricing for the first two nights (March 26 & 27, 2014) are available for $38.00. Ticket prices includes dinner, show and parking. Group sales are available.
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