Aisle Say: DuPont Theatre Opens Season With THE COLOR PURPLE

by Greer Firestone

Oprah loves it. So the discussion is over! The Pulitzer Prize winning book first found 3 dimension in the movie by Stephen Spielberg. On to Broadway where it was nominated for 11 Tony Awards, THE COLOR PURPLE opens The DuPont Theatre season on September 14.

THE COLOR PURPLE kicks off DuPont Theatre's 2010-2011 Season. Details at

It is the inspiring story of a woman named Celie, who finds the strength to triumph over adversity, and discovers her unique voice in the world.

The musical score was Grammy nominated as well. What differentiates this from the norm is that the production’s music does not subscribe to a generic musical theater cookbook; incorporating jazz, pop, gospel and blues.

We all love rock operas: HAIR, JC SUPERSTAR, TOMMY, EVITA and some others that blur the line between opera and musical. Rocking in the holiday season is “Handel’s Messiah Rocks” on December 7. The production touts not only a rock band but also an orchestra and offers quite a different take on the much performed oratorio. And…you may see someone you know on stage. The production staff creates tickets sales by including Wilmington area adult and children’s choirs.

There is but one physical response when thinking of the musical GREASE; a smile. The flick is the most watched movie musical ever, now passing SOUND OF MUSIC. (“Grease Sing-A-Long”, by the way, will be featured in this year’s 6th Annual Newark Film Festival September 23-30.

Travolta, Newton-John, Channing, Conaway, Eve Arden, Sid Caesar, et. al…what an incredible bit of casting allied with infectious, catchy tunes and high flying jitterbugging.

Legend has it that Henry Winkler and Marie Osmond were originally offered the leading roles. Winkler turned it down fearing that his present role of Fonzie – and now Danny – would typecast him. (Could Fonzie sing and dance? That jitterbug finale was stratospheric choreography). Ms. Osmond demurred for she did not like the idea of her character turning ‘bad’ to get her guy! (That’s what growing up in Utah will do to you).

This touring version is updated and includes tunes only in the movie. GREASE opens February 8.

The Susan Stroman ‘monstrous’ connection makes its way back to the venerable stage at DuPont Theatre stage with Mel Brook’s YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. Newark DE born and UD grad Stroman has had a so-so Broadway career. (Her mantle must hold a dozen Tony Awards!). In the ’90’s there was no more sought after Director/Choreographer than Susan. She teamed with Brooks on THE PRODUCERS, one of the all time funniest musicals. That number with the old ladies and their walkers is a Broadway classic commensurate with Agnes DeMille’s dream sequence in OKLAHOMA.

Stroman directed and choreo’d the original YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. It opens March 16. It would be wonderful to see her in a curtain speech.

“Blue Man Group” began in Greenwich Village over a decade ago as performance art. Now they have a permanent installation in Vegas and a national tour. Some of the theatricality will be lost in larger venues such as The DuPont Theatre, but fear not; one will not leave feeling blue after this amazing experience. Opens April 5.

While there are further events in the season termed “Broadway and Beyond”, the final show opening May 10 is the most chimerical, the most mythical, the most imaginary… Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. Internationally, it has been seen by 35 million people and DuPont Theatre proudly states this is their first Disney show. Aisle Say cannot conceive what is in store for the audience with the dazzling sets and phantasmagoria of the costumes. Info: 302.656.4401, – 800.338.0881 or visit

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