By Preman Koshar || Arts & Entertainment Editor
On Saturday, I had the great opportunity to go on one of the Theatre Department’s trips to see two Broadway plays in one day. On this occasion, we went to see Eclipsed, starring Lupita N’yongo, and The Color Purple, starring Jennifer Hudson. To sum up the experience in a few words, I had a blast. It’s pretty hard to go wrong with Broadway, and it did not disappoint.
Eclipsed told the tale of an impoverished family composed of enslaved prostitutes and soldiers in the bloody Liberian civil war. N’yongo stars as “The Girl;” the audience is never told her real name. She is simply one “wife” among many, one child soldier among many– one victim and perpetrator among many. The play deals with heavy, complex issues such as identity, compassion, survival, and morality in the face of unspeakable horrors.
The Color Purple is not a new tale, but it is an important, powerful story nonetheless. It follows Celie, a black woman forced into an abusive marriage, and her friends and family as they go through immense hardship and intense happiness. It is truly a beautiful story, a moving, life-affirming play. This is accentuated by the astounding vocals and visuals in this production.
The set is made of gorgeous, worn wood that extends more than twenty feet into the air and has old wooden chairs adorning it. I know that description does not really do it justice, but I’m not sure how else to describe the wonders of this simplistic, yet stunning set.
Beyond this, there is stunning symbolism involving sheets and the chairs, which I feel that describing would ruin any future viewer’s experience of the play. The vocals, however, are where this play shines. Every performer was stunning and powerful– the theater positively shook during several of the numbers. I don’t want to get into too many details, but there were several moments when I was blown away by what I was witnessing, by the power of their voices.
This trip was an amazing and wonderful experience, and I think that more of the campus should be able to enjoy these great events for free, like I did. These events should not only be open to theater majors and those who happen to reply to emails the fastest, or who happen to be on the right mailing lists. More tickets should be bought, and budgets should be increased so that every student that wants to can see a Broadway play and grow and learn from the magic that is theater.
Sophomore Preman Koshar is the Arts & Entertainment Editor. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.