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The Color Purple tour that pulls into the Kennedy Center this week is that rare revival that critics hail as “better than the original!” That’s a compliment, not a diss. The 2005 musical is based on Alice Walker’s 1982 novel and the Oprah-before-she-was-Oprah film that came out three years later. English director John Doyle took a closer look at the Georgia-set musical in 2013, and the resulting West End production transferred to Broadway, eventually winning the Tony for best musical revival in 2016. Critics agreed the musical was much improved, with less preachy melodrama and an abstract set less intent on replicating a Depression-era Southern town. The storyline is still a downer rife with incest, corruption, and abuse, but the novel’s church services and juke joint scenes translate into more uplifting jazz and gospel onstage. Adrianna Hicks, a former Michael Bublé backup singer who was a swing in the Broadway production, steps into the role of Celie, the part that turned Cynthia Erivo into a movie star. Read more>>> The musical runs to Aug. 26 at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater, 2700 F St. NW. $79–149. (202) 467-4600. kennedy-center.org. (Rebecca J. Ritzel)
OH AND ALSO
Arizona indie rock band Lydia performs at U Street Music Hall. 6:30 p.m. at 1115 U St. NW. $20.
Grammy-winning world music singer-songwriter Angelique Kidjo and renowned Afrobeat artist Femi Kuti perform at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap. 8 p.m. at 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. $28–$60.
AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center continues its celebration of Ingmar Bergman, in honor of the Swedish director’s birthday centennial, with a screening of his experimental 1969 film The Passion of Anna. 9 p.m. at 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $8–$13.
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