Review: Chicago's "The Color Purple"

Friday, 03 August 2012 00:54 Written by  Courtney Clark

The opening night of John Ruffin’s and Theater 47’s The Color Purple at the Harold Washington Cultural Center gave all the energy, soul and laughs that the audience came to see. From the believable and honest portrayal of Celie played by Tashika Benson to the brass and comedic persona of Sophia played by Jasmine Patton, Ruffin’s production accomplished his goal of “bringing great entertainment to the south side of Chicago.”

The musical remained true to the original Broadway hit, but offered innovative choreography by Montina Chrisp (Winkk) and Davonna Edwards, accompanied by a talented band that easily caused audience members to tap their feet and clap along to musical numbers such as “Push Da Button” and “In Miss Celie’s Pants”. By the end of the play, audience members were in tears at the reunion of Celie and Nettie and gave a standing ovation to a remarkable cast.

The Color Purple performed the weekend of July 27-29. While guests referred to Ruffin’s production as “excellent”, “an awesome stage production” and “even better than the Broadway original”, Ruffin announced an upcoming play that will be sure to please as well. The Story of Ike and Tina Turner is set to open in October.

For more information on Ruffin and his upcoming plays, visit


*Photography by GMO Photo Editor Billy Montgomery (Billy Montgomery Photography)

Courtney Clark

Courtney Clark

Courtney Clark is a recent graduate of Columbia College Chicago with a B.A. in journalism and fiction writing. She has a passion for arts and culture, and is currently developing a multimedia magazine dedicated to sharing meaningful, unique and compelling stories from around the globe.

She can be contacted at