Shakin’ out the blues

The Color Purple

The Color Purple; 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; $39 - $59, with Premium Tickets available for $69. Three Stages at Folsom Lake College, 10 College Parkway, Folsom; (916) 608-6888; Through April 12.

Three Stages at Folsom Lake College

10 College Pkwy.
Folsom, CA 95630

(916) 608-6888

It’s the perfect show for the small—and acoustically near-perfect—venue at Three Stages at Folsom Lake College, which means we’ll get a treat when the national tour of The Color Purple pulls into town for a limited midweek run.

The story, based on both Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and Stephen Spielberg’s film, is the tale of Celie, an early 20th century black Southern woman who bears two children to her abusive step-father—both are taken from her and given up for adoption—and is separated from her beloved sister, Nettie, before being married off to an abusive husband, Mister. But it’s not a tale of misery; it’s a tale of resistance and resilience, as Celie makes a family of the heart that includes jazz singer Shug Avery, and an entire community that resists the Jim Crow of the period any way they can.

Spanning 40 years and including jazz, blues and pop songs from a century of American music, The Color Purple is both historical drama and uplifting musical. Originally produced on Broadway by Oprah Winfrey and Quincy Jones, it features a libretto by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Marsha Norman.

To offset the mid-week run, the show begins at 7:30 p.m., and yes, it certainly is worth staying up late on a weeknight. Even if you’re a bit drowsy in the cubicle the next day, at least you’ll be humming something good.