Cesili Williams and La Toya London in "The Color Purple" at Celebration Theatre. Credit: Barry Weiss.

Above all, this exuberant “Color Purple” creates an opportunity to count blessings — including 99-seat theaters that take on challenging shows with minimal budgets. Celebration Theatre’s raise-the-roof production shows up the bigger, better-funded venues in town. In L.A., less is so often more. Pantages, Center Theatre Group, La Mirada, are you watching?
Charlotte Stoudt – LA Times

Director Michael Matthews has assembled a gifted creative team and a blisteringly talented cast of 17, all displaying powerful voices and unlimited enthusiasm while elevating Janet Roston’s superb choreography, which is beautifully realized despite tight space constraints.
Pauline Adamek – LA Weekly

Though this adaptation of Walker’s powerful and provocative tale has an overstuffed narrative and a dense score, the essence of her indelible characters and themes shines through. Matthews’ lively and inventive take on the literate tuner provides rousing entertainment and plenty of food for thought while eliciting a tear or two.
Les Spindle – Backstage

Brilliantly directed by Michael Matthews and starring as musically and dramatically gifted a cast as you’ll see this year on any stage large or small, this Celebration Theatre production looks to be the Intimate Theater Event of 2012.
Steven Stanley – StageSceneLA

Director Michael Matthews has taken a turkey of a musical (more on that later for those who only want the good news), trimmed the cast of 33 down to 17 (still a huge number for the tiny thrust at the Celebration), brought on casting director Jami Rudofsky and assembled the most jaw-dropping assemblage of wicked-ass talent around. Seriously, there’s not a clunker in the bunch.
Tony Frankel – Stage and Cinema

This Production of The Color Purple: The Musical is Amazing!
Michelle Clay – LASplash

The intimate setting that this provides breaks down the otherwise solid fourth wall of musical theater, and, combined with the sheer exultation of the show, makes it more powerful and moving than you can imagine.
Sara Itkis – Neon Tommy

Following a string of successful shows, this engaging, gorgeously appointed and flawlessly performed Color Purple puts the LGBT-focused Celebration among our most reliably outstanding local companies.
Christopher Cappiello – Frontiers

By now you’re sure to have heard the buzz about the gloriously triumphant, rip your heart out musical The Color Purple that Celebration Theatre has so skillfully crafted on its small stage. I was afraid I would miss this production, but thanks to an unexpected schedule change, I was able to see it… and halleluiah, I am glad I did.
Ellen Dostal – Musicals in LA

Still, a clearer more affecting “Purple” doesn’t figure to come around anytime soon. What tickets are left should be snapped up. Soon.
Evan Henerson – LA Examiner

I’ve seen this spectacular show on Broadway and personally, I thinks it works even better in this intimate setting.
Joan Alperin Schwartz – LA Examiner

Celebration Theatre
7051B Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood
8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays; Ends May 26, 2012
Tickets: $34; (323) 957-1884
Running time: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Filed Under: LemonMeter


LemonMeter About the Author: We don’t “review” shows here at the Lemon, rather we "review" reviews by gathering them from a variety of local review sites around the internet, judging them to be positive or negative, then forming an aggregate score that we call a LEMONMETER RATING, showing how well that show has been reviewed in total. For more detail on how the LemonMeter works visit here.

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