‘The Color Purple’ Tea w/Adrianna Hicks

Powerful…..spiritual…..riveting…….timeless……relevant….and 2016 Tony Award winner for Best Revival. 

And let’s not leave out an evening of pure entertainment fronted by a truly all-star cast (get to know them right here) of some of the Great White Way’s boldest and fiercest performers. 

Yes, those are all of the completely accurate words and phrases to use when it comes to describing the box office owning national tour of the smash Broadway wonder, The Color Purple, in which all of Philadelphia and the tri-state area will be getting to witness first-hand when it takes over the Forrest Theatre for a very, very special limited engagement beginning tonight through this Sunday, December 17th.

And when it comes to describing the incredibly lovely Adrianna Hicks whose been garnering grand reviews for her pulsating portrayal of lead Purple heroine, Celie?

Well, there’s just not enough adjectives in the world to describe her grace, poise, sense of humor and truckloads of sensational and scorching talent.

But you’ll be able to get to know all of it and then some before she owns the Philly spotlight as Ms. Hicks was gracious enough to stop by the Philly Mixtape entertainment tea table, where the red-hot superstar broke mugs about the tour, her favorite holiday records, why this show is just so important for all of us in these crazy times, and of course, her relationship with the original Celie herself, Ms. Whoopi Goldberg.

Read on…and then get those tickets

Hey, Adrianna! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with Philly Mixtape. I truly appreciate it. Okay, so kicking off our little spill, how are you feeling leading up to the big opening night in Philly? I’m feeling so great. The tour has just been truly amazing. My experience has been something greater than I could have ever imagined…I’m really enjoying myself! 

On to the show! Would you say that you’ve had different audience reactions traveling from city-to-city with this tour? Absolutely, which I think is really awesome. It keeps things fresh, it keeps things new. We are doing eight shows a week and after a while things can get repetitive–not in a bad way–but just going from place-to-place and allowing the audience to desire anything that they want to experience with what we give out has been truly rewarding and very freeing.

Is it tough going in not knowing what the audience reaction will be given the deep and powerful material in this show? It’s good to go in not knowing what to expect because I never want my performance to come out of something that I’ve already previously experienced. [I like] to go in as true as I can without having expectations like, “Oh, they’re going to laugh here, or their going to do this here,” because it totally takes me out of the story that needs to be told in the moment. It’s where I am in the present that has absolutely helped me to grow as an artist on this tour. 

What have been some of your favorite tour stops so far? I really have loved Boston, Detroit was a lively crowd! It’s also great to get to perform in cities that I had no idea Des Moines, Iowa! They were wonderful! 

Let’s talk about the iconic lead role of Celie, which of course was made famous by Ms. Whoopi Goldberg in the Oscar-winning 1985 film adaptation of Alice Walker’s timeless novel. I have to ask, have you met Ms. Whoopi before? Side note…I have no shame in saying that I’m an avid watcher of ‘The View’  Yes! Whoopi is amazing. She’s a wonderful human being. We met on the Broadway production I guess about two years ago now. Talk about a remarkable woman. The fact that she has her mind and opinion on things, she just knows what she wants to say, which I really honor that about her. Every time we hear her speak it’s like she’s truly thought about what she has to say. It’s not something she pulls from the air…she’s processed things from the world and has an incredible perspective on the topics that affect us. 

Speaking of which, a lot of those topics stem from what a crazy year it’s been for all of us. So, what words of strength and wisdom would you say to somebody who may be skeptical about the future after the dizzying direction we all seem to be locked into these days? The first thing that comes to mind is to keep going. I have to say, after performing Celie–and it hasn’t been a majority of the time yet–but seeing how this woman goes through so many trials and tribulations that would really bring down someone…just break you down with all of the valid reasons. I just have to say that if Celie can get up and even forgive the very people who have put her through so many things, then there’s nothing that we can’t do. It’s great to know that there’s a sense that we can do the impossible–or what might seem like the impossible–in the mist of chaos and all of these things that there’s order to be found. 

And the show couldn’t be traveling the country at a better time right now……The cast always says that we’re here at such a time as this……and that’s what makes The Color Purple such a timeless and priceless story. Also in the fact that we’ve been able to visit and see multi-cultural audiences in every person–black, white, male, female–all of these people are able to walk away with a spiritual experience. The show does highlight specific groups, however, but the fact that Celie goes through things that every person on this planet has gone through. as far as insecurities, questioning, wondering and blinding hoping in things. Not necessarily blinding hoping, but hoping that heaven last always and whatever that’s in their minds, people are able to really gleam from that. It’s something I can’t express how much joy it brings me to see an upper class white man walk away in tears. Or to see a little black girl in the front row watching the show screaming with joy…it [makes me certain] we’re doing our job. 

Okay, onto a bit lighter topic for a moment…music!! What are some of your all-time favorite records? And maybe the first record you ever bought? For me, I have to say the Boyz 11 Men Legacy album is awesome. They had that classic sound [back then] that was kind of lost as far as these boy groups that didn’t quite have it. I remember my Mom also playing a lot of Luther Vandross. And of course, Mary J. Blige….Share My World…yes! I was just jamming out to that recently….because it’s still just so good. And my very first album that I bought was actually the Backstreet Boys  Millennium

How about any favorite holiday records? I don’t know about you, but I feel like the Destiny’s Child holiday record is stalking me lately…I’ve been hearing it everywhere I go. Ha! I used to love that song…”On the first day of Christmas” was so good! My favorite Christmas album…ooh..I immediately went to Luther’s Christmas album..cause it’s really dope. But really, there’s nothing like Mariah. That album was revolutionary….I fully believe that. And I also love Pentatonix second Christmas album. I was actually living in Vienna, Austria at the time [that] album came out and I just remember it really touched my soul. I just have so many memories of connecting that album to living overseas…and overseas they know how to do Christmas! 

One last little spill…..describe The Color Purple in one word. Revival. 

And there you have it.

For your tickets to see the incredible Adrianna Hicks take on the legendary role of Celie in The Color Purple while it’s in town through this Sunday, December 17th….you must absolutely go right here, right now because this is one spectacular night out to that you absolutely should not miss out on this week…or ever.








5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Experience Motown:The Musical

There comes a time in life when we must not run, we must not walk, but instead just straight up….dance.

And while we’re all on the dance floor of this crazy little thing called life, we must groove it on over to see an incredible Broadway experience in the City of Brotherly Love…and Motown:The Musical has just what everyone is looking for at this very moment in time. 

But in case you need a touch further convincing as to why everyone should experience this Tony Award owning show about Motown Records pariah Berry Gordy and all of the incredible music stars that came along on his wild music tale-Diana! Smokey! Michael!–Philly Mixtape has 5 reasons why (hint..there’s lots of music!) you must grab those tickets to see Motown:The Musical while it’s here until Sunday, June 11th. 

Let’s groove. 

1.All…of…that…music… You don’t need too much truth laid out to know that the main reason everyone should experience Motown:The Musical is for all of those delicious grooves that are laced throughout this incredible show that no doubt still have the ability to take over our worlds from those very first classic beat drops. Let’s see here……”ABC,” “Come See About Me,” “Fingertips Pt. 2,” “For Once In My Life,” “My Guy” (by the way..happy 25th anniversary, Sister Act!), “The Tears of A Clown.” They’re all here and so, so much more…so grab those tickets for what’s sure to be an incredible experience with all of that delightful music that you know you still can’t live without. 

2.The incredible cast…..  Of course, in order to properly serve up all of those irresistible Motown vibes, you need the proper cast to bring the stage heat, and Motown:The Musical is in no shortage of some truly incredible talent from Philly and beyond. From New Jersey based Broadway superstar (and University of the Arts graduate!!) Jarran Muse as Marvin Gaye to fellow Broadway champion Chester Gregory as Berry Gordy (he also portrayed Mr. Gordy on The Great White Way last summer) to Chicago opera diva Allison Semmes as the legendary Miss Diana Ross to Sister Act stud David Kaverman as Mr. Smokey Robinson, there’s no denying that this cast absolutely has what it takes to give you the time of your life…..much like Dirty Dancing did at the Kimmel Center a few weeks ago. For much, much more with the cast—including getting to know eleven-year-old talented genius CJ Wright who portrays a young Michael! Stevie! and Berry Gordy!!–dance it on over right here and then get down with this classic Motown groove. 

3.It’s truly fun for the whole entire family…..   Although the story of Motown:The Musical takes place back-in-the-day and beyond, there’s absolutely no reason not to bring the kids out to experience music when it was music..well, there’s really nothing else to say there. And that’s only the beginning of what will truly be a joyful night out for you and the entire family. Go ahead, you all deserve it..and the kids will appreciate you more than ever. 

4.It will get you all sorts of excited for what’s on the Kimmel Center Broadway horizon….  Finding Neverland, The Color Purple, Kinky Boots, Aladdin, School of Rock, Waitress, On Your Feet, Les Miserables and (pearl clutch!!) ….Hamilton:The Musical. Get ready to have Broadway in Philadelphia palpitations because all of these incredible Tony Awards grabbing shows are all locked and loaded on the Kimmel Center schedule. Which of course for you comes down to four lovely words….grab those tickets now

5.Once again…all…of….that…music. In case the first round of classically delicious Motown grooves wasn’t enough to get you groovin’ over to the Kimmel Center box office there’s also…..”Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Ball of Confusion,” “Dancing in the Street,” “Can I Close the Door,” “Get Ready,” and you guessed it, many, many, many, many more. There’s just really nothing else to say here because you and the entire family just have to experience…it all for yourselves. So, grab those tickets to see Motown:The Musical while it’s here in the City of Brotherly Love until June 11th and the incredible cast, just as equally incredible story and so, so much more will be waiting just for you. Yes, you. So, go.