The Houston Police Department seems to have taken on a new role: theater critic.
They recommended to TUTS that it cancel performances of The Color Purple. Which is not really a whole lot different than what New York theater critics said when it opened on Broadway. Luckily for the production, its connections with Oprah (she was one of the producers) guaranteed a steady stream of tourist traffic that kept the musical open for longer than it otherwise might have survived.
"At the urging of Houston's city officials and the Houston Police Department, performances of The Color Purple scheduled for the week of September 16 - 21 will be canceled," says Lauren Lovell of TUTS. "Theatre Under The Stars values the safety and security of patrons and will abide by the city's request."
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We're guessing HPD's request had more to do with bringing 3,000 or so theater patrons downtown on those nights than with any critique of the piece.
Then again, maybe some non-Oprah fan at HPD actually got a look at The Color Purple and decided to save Houstonians from further disaster.
-- Richard Connelly