The Color Purple Comes Back To Finish Its Ike-Shortened Run

Last year, one of the casualties of Hurricane Ike was The Color Purple's national-tour stopover in Houston. It was supposed to be here for a two-week run, but that was halved thanks to the post-storm conditions (no electricity).

On August 18-23 the show will be back for a return engagement at the Hobby Center, bringing with it Kristopher Thompson-Bolden, a member of the ensemble who graduated from Houston ISD's High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in 2000.

And this time, all his many relatives who live in the area will get to see the show, Bolden says, which wasn't possible last year when a week of the sold-out show was canceled.

"We actually were in San Antonio last year. I knew there was a storm coming but I grew up in Texas, we have hurricanes; it's just that time of year," Thompson-Bolden told Hair Balls.

"But it kept getting worse and then it hit. We were stuck in San Antonio, we had already finished the run there," he said. Finally, on Wednesday of that week, his mother Judieth Thompson, came and picked him up.

When the show finally started, Thompson-Bolden says he was amazed how many people showed up. Several told him they didn't have power at home but were determined to see the show.

Asked why he thinks The Color Purple, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker and the film by Steven Spielberg, is so popular, Thompson-Bolden said: "Oprah." (Oprah Winfrey who starred in the movie version is one of the producers of the show.)

The other reason, he said, "is just that it is a really good story. This woman who has had a rough upbringing and a rough life as an adult, all these other people -- women -- come into her life and show her the way. She's lost and then she grows up and realizes that she is a beautiful person and that God made her."

"It's a universal story and the music is great. So go for two hours and 40 minutes to Hobby which is a beautiful theater." (With electricity!)

Tickets for The Color Purple are available by phone at 713-558-8887 or at the TUTS Box Office, 800 Bagby at Walker or online at TUTS.com.

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