Well, we made the tickets to “The Color Purple,” we received from Tabahani Book Club (it means “to be well educated”) our ice cream sundae for finishing, Gotta Keep on Tryin’—because really, how much incentive is a carrot? The stick was the great, big hairy DEADLINE from our new publisher, and we wanted no part in blowing that—such a bad way to start a new relationship. It wasn’t that we didn’t want to write the book. But by the end of the process we were pretty whupped—brain drained, aching hands—we both had wrist braces, feet and ankles swollen to the size of a baby elephant’s from hours of sitting at the computer not to mention the under-eye baggage we were carrying. Well you get the picture and it was most definitely not Broadway cute. So even though it’s always nice to have a treat waiting— recovery from DEADLINE takes longer than it used to, so we were a little delinquent in the rewards department—We finished the book March 1st, but we just made it to the theater.
Now we must admit, we were a little. . .shall we say concerned when we were too late for LaChanze and Fantasia made her debut in the role of Celie. American Idol and Broadway didn’t seem like the best match (OK—we remember Frenchie and RENT, but still. . .). Anyway, there was no need to worry. Fantasia can handle it. She’s got Celie’s body language down, far more than we expected. Fantasia definitely brought her Southern heritage with her, and clearly she’s been around church and many a good Deaconess, ‘cause she channels that energy and presence like a champ. She doesn’t have the whole Broadway voice thing entirely together. We don’t know how they do it, but theater singers can whisper and throw their voices to the back of the house. In the softer moments during the first act, Fantasia’s a little hard to hear. But when she lets loose and gets to belt in Act Two, the house is rockin’ and all the folks who came up by bus to see her are rockin’ with her. So, props to Ms Barrino for a brave and non-traditional career choice (And don’t miss the pre-theater fashion show, A.K.A. the ticket holders line, ‘cause our folks go to the theater seriously clean).
So, while our reward was deferred, it was quite rewarding. Thank you Tabahani. It was worth the wait.