The Color Purple
Durham Performing Arts Center—Steven Spielberg's 1985 film of Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning novel was decried by one critic as being like "the first Disney film about incest." Admittedly, it wound up getting 11 Oscar nods and helped launch the career of Oprah Winfrey, who later went on to produce the Broadway musical.
Given the complaints about the film, a musical adaptation could have been a risky proposition, but the show wound up winning almost every award known to theater and grossed more than $100 million on Broadway. Now it's headed through the area with a touring company that includes Brandon Victor Dixon reprising his Tony-nominated role as Harpo in the original Broadway show, along with American Idol veteran LaToya London. The performance runs May 12-17; tickets range from $25 to $70. For more information, visit www.dpacnc.com. —Zack Smith