“The Color Purple” at the National Theater
This Oprah Winfrey-backed musical theater version of Alice Walker’s powerful novel packs more emotional punch than your everyday Broadway musical. The road company, now at the National Theater through April 24, talks and sings the story of Celie, a much put upon young black woman who rises above abuse, ignorance and suffering to become the cornerstone of life for many people. The film version, which starred Whoopee Goldberg, Danny Glover and Oprah Winfrey herself, was directed by Steve Spielberg with great intensity, if a little too much sentiment, and was nominated for 11 Oscars (but won none). The musical is a powerful surprise and moves with flair and power to tell an emotionally affecting story.