Wednesday, January 6

A Color Purple was presented by Broadway Across America at Clowes Memorial Hall in Indy and I was on hand to check it out. Based on Alice Walker’s novel, the musical follows the life of Celie (Kenita R. Miller) an uneducated, and abused, girl-turned-woman, whose experiences earn her the love and admiration of many, including, eventually, her former husband, Mister (Rufus Bonds, Jr.).

With powerful vocals belying her petite size, Miller turns in the strongest performance; threading her way through the production much as her character threads her way through the lives of all who know her. As the lives intertwine throughout time, Celie remains the constant, offering wisdom as needed, a firm hand as required.

Stand-in La Trisa A. Harper, as lanky sister Nettie, complemented Miller’s performance, as the two played off each other’s differences in vocal style and physical size. With such a short amount of time to encompass many decades of living, it’s understandable if you feel something is
skipped over.

The best advice I can give is to read the book or, at least, watch the film before checking out the musical to help meld the gaps.

Also ending the year was the annual holiday tour from Trans-Siberian Orchestra at Conseco Fieldhouse. With new video screens, an updated light/laser show and a rising stage, fans were not disappointed.

Once again performing with the full intent of making sure no one is sleeping, TSO brought the traditional artificial snow, nontraditional holiday tunes and a little extra this go round, playing selections from the newest album Night Castle.

With the October ’09 release, TSO steps away from its well-known Christmas line and gives a new choice for rock opera fans. Also included with the CD is a storybook with excellent illustrations, somewhat like a dream sequence captured by the artist.

Founded in 1996, the group has toured every winter since 1999, announcing at this year’s concert that there will be a spring tour to promote the new music from the 26-track CD. This is great news for those who get a case of withdrawals, waiting for the group’s signature sound, from one Christmas season to the next.

If you have a unique restaurant, event or performance you would like reviewed, contact me at elizabeth@gottago.us. Me, I’ll be right here, thinking about Wizards in Winter. Catch Elizabeth on facebook or Twitter.

--This post was originally published under "Gotta Go" in the West Side Community News in Indianapolis, and the West Indianapolis Community News.

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