Stage Review

The Color Purple (2005)

EW's GRADE
C+

Details Opening Date: Dec 01, 2005; Lead Performances: LaChanze and Renee Elise Goldsberry; Writers: Allee Willis, Brenda Russell, Stephen Bray; Director: Gary Griffin

Three years after winning American Idol, Fantasia (she dropped Barrino long ago) steps into the Oprahfied musical version of Alice Walker's 1982 book, The Color Purple. As the tragic Celie — who endures incest, beatings, and teen pregnancies — the star lands every line and hits all the right notes. But she's cold and robotic, and never becomes the sprawling show's much-needed emotional touchstone. Her rich, suitably scratchy voice is one saving grace: By the time Celie finds salvation with the bombastic ballad ''I'm Here,'' you'll be glad Fantasia is...but you'll also wish she'd go back to making pop music. 2005 version: C+, 2007 version: C

Originally posted May 25, 2007 Published in issue #936 Jun 01, 2007 Order article reprints
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