‘The Color Purple’ Review: Broadway Adaptation Stuns With Powerhouse Performances, Crowd-Pleasing Numbers

Fantasia Barrino and Danielle Brooks standout amongst a powerful ensemble cast

"The Color Purple"
"The Color Purple" (CREDIT: Courtesy of Warner Bros.)

Nearly 40 years ago Alice Walker unleashed “The Color Purple” amidst an avalanche of unyielding criticism coupled with lionizing commentary which has accompanied the project into additional incarnations on film and the Broadway stage.

Nominated for 11 Academy Awards, the backlash in 1985 was swift and all encompassing. In addition to banning the book in schools across the country for its sexual content, and situations of abuse and domestic violence, Norman Mailer and feminist Gloria Steinem called the book a near-criminal assault on black family life and heterosexual relationships. Upon the film’s release, author James Baldwin accused its director, Steven Spielberg, of mangling the poetic vision of Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.


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