RAVE REVIEWS FOR THE COLOR PURPLE SOUTH AFRICA
“A triumphant production…The Color Purple has had Joburg audiences on their feet…Only the music of America’s deep south filled with jazz, ragtime and blues, could do justice to a storyline such as this and the score by Stephen Bray, Brenda Russell and Allee Willis summons the sorrows of Celie’s life with rich blues numbers and soaring gospel…A rollercoaster ride of emotions that ends on an uplifting high, this is one of Joburg’s most memorable theatre productions in years”
“If Bernard Jay had any doubts about his ambitious plan to stage The Color Purple in South Africa with an all-South African cast for a South African audience, they would have been wiped away by the rapturous response to the opening performance at Joburg Theatre on Sunday. From the opening scene the retelling of this classic story of the 1930s rural south in America had the audience under their spell”
Valerie Boje, The Pretoria News
“It is not often one gets to witness on stage something so remarkable and poignant that it leaves you feeling numb and speechless, yet at the same time empowered and overjoyed…this hugely ambitious offering has an almost spiritual voice. I laughed, I cried but most importantly I felt a wonderful togetherness with my fellow theatre goers who collectively experienced and witnessed something quite remarkable on stage”
David Simmons, Stage and Screen
“A rich tapestry that will take you on an emotional journey that will stay with you long after you leave the theatre. The Color Purple is an absolute must-see”
Darren Meltz, Morethanfoodmag.com
“Any piece of theatre hereon after is always going to be compared to this and will be left wanting…rendered speechless by its sheer excellence…Didintle Khunou plays Celie with dignity, charm and strength and a voice that will capture your heart…a joyful noise that will undoubtedly bring audiences to their feet time and time again in thunderous applause…A genuine masterpiece! This is an authentic gem of a production, the likes of which one rarely gets the privilege to see”
Janice Leibowitz, Glitterandtoast.com
“The Color Purple and its South African team give us a reason to be proudly South African again”
“Incredibly natural and authentic…multi-layered entertainment value…An inspired production”
Bruce Dennill, pARTicipate
“There couldn’t have been a better time for the show to make its premiere in the country…The Color Purple is an absolute pleasure to experience”
Masego Panyane, The Star Tonight
“The Color Purple is Bold, Black and Beautiful…As a musical, it is the perfect storm for right now…hence the magical reaction and participation of the audience. There was no doubt about their appreciation of what they were encountering on stage…it’s musical heaven”
Diane de Beer, debeernecessities.com
“This vibrant musical had the capacity audience cheering for more…Brilliantly directed by Janice Honeyman…soaring songs that stir the soul…elevates the audience to an emotional high”
Peter Feldman, Artslink.co.za
“Quite simply, awesome…an emotional powerhouse…the audience erupted”
Jennifer de Klerk, Artslink.co.za
“The audience loved it, the standing ovation testament to the fact that they were thoroughly entertained…a major triumph…a magnificent cast…not to be missed…if there is any way you can go and see it, do so immediately”
Hendrik Baird, GaySARadio.co.za
“…to feel my heart beating a thousand times a minute and then being ripped out of my chest, all because it was real, raw and authentic…powerful voices filled the room with effortless brilliance and awoke goose bumps on my body…the audience cheered, clapped and stood up in agreement and triumph”
Waydene Laing, Blogger
“This was a life-changing and sweeping experience that will go down as one of the best and most thought-provoking of the past few years…brilliant and touching production…This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience…You will never forget it”
Leon van Nierop, Artslink.co.za
“Goosebumps abound…It’s a magnificent piece of work…it sings with one cohesive voice”
Lesley Stones, Dailey Maverick
The Color Purple is glorious amongst musicals in that it entertains and ultimately uplifts audiences to a state of sheer joy, whilst taking them on a passionate journey of an inspiring family saga – telling the unforgettable story of a woman who, through love, finds the strength to triumph over adversity and discover her unique voice in the world.
The musical The Color Purple is based upon the 1982 novel written by Alice Walker and the 1985 motion picture directed by Steven Spielberg. The musical’s book is by Marsha Norman, with music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray.
Set to a joyous score featuring jazz, ragtime, gospel and blues, it’s a story of hope – a testament to the healing power of love and a celebration of life.
“When I saw the recent revival of The Color Purple on Broadway, I witnessed an extraordinary involvement of emotions between the actors and the audience, culminating in a five-minute standing ovation and many patrons simply weeping with joy. The audience didn’t want to leave the theatre after the show. They waited for the actors to come into the auditorium so they could hug together and rejoice in their happiness for each other,” says Jay. “We are now eager for South African audiences to share the same celebratory experience.”
The Color Purple the musical is presented by Joburg Theatre and Bernard Jay on the stage of The Nelson Mandela Theatre at Joburg Theatre. The season will continue until Sunday March 4th. The producers have already spent four years negotiating for the rights and preparing for this South African theatrical coup: the first major international staging of the musical following the 2015 Broadway revival.
The outstanding all-South African creative team assembled by the producers will be helmed by internationally acclaimed, award-winning director Janice Honeyman. The musical direction is by Rowan Bakker, choreography by Oscar Buthelezi, production design by Sarah Roberts, lighting design by Mannie Manim and sound design by Richard Smith.
The cast features (in alphabetical order) Zane Gillion, Didintle Khunou, Sebe Leotlela, Dolly Louw, Andile Magxaki, Yamikani Mahaka-Phiri, Venolia Manale, Namisa Mdlalose, Phumi Mncayi, Neo Motaung, Lerato Mvelase, Tshepo Ncokoane, Thokozani Nzima, Funeka Peppeta, Aubrey Poo, Senzesihle Radebe, Lelo Ramasimong, Zolani Shangase, Ayanda Sibisi and Lebo Toko.
“I promise that South African audiences will laugh, will cry, will cheer,” says Bernard Jay, “but they will never forget The Color Purple.”
Age restriction: No under 13