‘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.








Philly Weekly Entertainment Groove

Let’s weekday and be jolly because there is lots to do this week and beyond.

Did someone say The Color Purple is in town? Yes. 

Let’s go. 

There’s the always lit Christmas Village (1501 JFK Blvd.) which is delightfully surrounded by ice-skating at City Hall (through February 25th) tons of locally made snacks and goodies, local-made Philly Holiday Gift Show (there’s an ugly Christmas sweater store that you must go to), magnificent carousel, a grand 50 foot tall Christmas tree, but most importantly…lots of fun for every one of all ages…including you!

The Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest is also in full skate at (101) Columbus Blvd through March 4th, and with grub served up from Garces Group and Chickie’s and Pete’s as well as spectacular views of the Ben Franklin Bridge and beyond, it’s sure to warm your holiday spirit all season long! Go here for more ho, ho, ho action.

Not that the beloved Philly holiday tradition of the Macy’s Christmas Light Show needs any introduction since you’ve seen it forty times already, but for those who haven’t, the stunning lights are now warming your holiday spirit right oh, so high atop the Grand Atrium at Macy’s Center City (1300 Market St.) through December 31st beginning from 10 a.m to 8 p.m every two hours! Let’s twinkle. 

Franklin Square Holiday Festival A fabulous mix of lighted Philadelphia history and simply stunning light show, this beloved Philly tradition (200 N. 6th St.) is sure to illuminate ya life all holiday season long. The Electrical Spectacle Light Show hosts free shows every 30 minutes between 4 and 8 p.m. on week nights and 4 and 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. And with 50,000 gleaming lights set on top of a blissful music background with one composition featuring an illuminated kite and key, this is one holiday event that even Mr. Benjamin Franklin himself would approve of. Bring the kids and don’t miss it!  

A Philly POPS Christmas Merry up for a simply magical evening of pure holiday bliss as Maestro Michael Krajewski takes the reigns to lead the acclaimed POPS for a delightfully festive show featuring vocalist Justin Hopkins, the Philadelphia Boys Choir, the Philly POPS Festival Chorus and the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir. But perhaps the best of it all this year? There’s a POPS style holiday tribute of How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Get those tickets. Dec 2nd-19th/Kimmel Center/300 S. Broad St.Various dates and showtimes

Pennsylvania Ballet presents The Nutcracker Imagine a Philly holiday season without the PA Ballet’s stunning presentation of  George Balanchine’s legendary entertainment creation? Actually, no, we don’t want to, we just need to grab those tickets because like the holidays themselves, this beloved entertainment affair will be dancing away soon, so don’t miss out and go right here for more holiday tip-toe action. Tonight-December 31st/The Academy of Music/various ticket prices and showtimes/240 S. Broad St.

The Color Purple  It looks like we’ve been very good boys and girls this year because we’re getting a true entertainment gift  (and 2016 Tony Award winner for Best Revival!) when The Color Purple takes over (and that it will) the Forrest Theatre this week for a very special limited engagement. Besides being blessed with an all-star cast (go here to get know all of this talent), the show also stars the incredibly talented Adrianna Hicks, who’s gaining critical acclaim for her bold and stunning portrayal of show heroine, Celie. And guess what? The incredibly lovely Ms. Hicks will be stopping by the Philly Mixtape tea table this week to spill about it all, but before she graces us with her electrifying presence, there’s one thing you must do…get those tickets because this is one spectacular night out to that you absolutely should not miss this week…or ever. Tuesday/Dec 12th-Sunday, Dec 17th/Forrest Theatre/Various showtimes and ticket prices/1114 Walnut St. 

Sing Your Life Karaoke w/ Sara Sherr Looking to slay your favorite karaoke grooves all holiday season long? Well, you’re in luck because chances are the always musically gift-wrapped Ms. Sherr has everything you need for your song butchering/slaying pleasure at any one of these fab Philly locations listed below! Happy holidaze! Sun, 9-2 Bob and Barbara’s, 1509 South Street Tues, 9-2 12 Steps Down, 9th and Christian Thurs, 10-2 W/N W/N 931 Spring Garden, Fri, 9-1 Southhouse, 2535 S. 13th St. Saturday, 9-1:45 Les & Doreen’s Happy Tap,1301 E Susquehanna Ave

ANNIE For the love of all things Sandy and “Tomorrow,” there’s simply no denying that it’s been a hard knock year for all of us, so what better way to treat the whole family and go see this forever cherished Broadway musical while it’s in town through the Philly holiday season! There’s really nothing else to say here except that Daddy Warbucks, Ms. Hannigan and everyone’s favorite ginger curled cute, Ms. Annie, will be waiting for you! Tonight-Jan 7th, 2018/Walnut Street Theatre/Various ticket prices & showtimes/825 Walnut St.

Full Front Street   If you think there’s no time left to get your Philly Burlesque fix on before 2017 comes to an end, that’s absolutely not the case as the always yas HoneyTree Evil Eye as well as the stunning Mora Love, the voluptuous Connor Michalchuk and the red-hot Fleur de Soleil (who’s making her FFS debut!) are more than ready to make all of your tassel twirlin’ dreams come true tonight. Every Monday/9 pm/Victoria Freehouse/10 S. Front St. 

Cloud Nine Your hump day is about to get lit like a fireplace this week because DJs Brando Calrissian and Michael Mythix are about to bring the beats and the heat to Tavern on Camac this week just in time to make your holidays oh so Mary and gay. Let’s f@#king dance, shall we? Yas.  Wednesday/9 pm/Tavern on Camac/243 S. Camac St.

Lip Smackers  Since pretty much every track from the late ’90s/early ’00s still rules, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t shimmy over to Tabu this Thursday night and let DJs Mike Shaffer and Javascript put in that millennium werk for you on the floor for this special dance party celebrating those good ol’ TRL-worthy times.  Thursday/Tabu/9 pm/200 South 12th St. 

Fantasia:Christmas After Midnight Yes, that Fantasia of American Idol and The Color Purple fame (perfect timing, eh?) is about to sleigh our holiday lives with what’s sure to be a stunning stop at The Fillmore this Thursday night. Grab those tickets. Thursday/8 pm/The Fillmore/29 E. Allen St. 

Also on the local and legendary entertainment decks for your…….

Monday/December 11th 

John Doe@Boot&Saddle(830 pm, 1131 S. Broad St.)…………Vesperteen @Voltage Lounge(730 pm, 421 N. 7th St.)…………Dylan Jane and The Clavacles(8 pm, 705 N. 2nd St.)…………..Girl Germs@Johnny Brenda’s Downstairs(8 pm, 1201 N. Frankford Ave)……….Laughs On Philly@Ortlieb‘s(7 pm, 847 N. 3rd St.) 

Tuesday/December 12th 

Angel Olsen @Union Transfer(830 pm, 1024 Spring Garden St., and Wednesday, too!)……………The White Buffalo@The Foundry(8 pm, 29 E. Allen St.)…………….Rolo Tomassi@Voltage Lounge(7 pm, 421 N. 7th St.)…………West Philadelphia Orchestra@Franky Bradley’s(9 pm, 1320 Chancellor St.)…………Sole Pursuit@The Fire(9 pm, 412 W. Girard Avenue) 

Wednesday/December 13th 

Jason Vieaux@World Cafe Live(730 pm, 3025 Walnut St.)…………Rondi Charleston@South(7 pm, 600 N. Broad St.)………..Buffy @The Dolphin Tavern(10 pm, 1539 S. Broad St.)…………Droopies@Kung Fu Necktie(8 pm, 1248 N. Front St.)…………Stab&Grab@Kung Fu Necktie(10 pm, 1248 N. Front St.)………Rich People/Year of the Knife@The Pharmacy(6 pm, 1300 S. 18th St.) 

Thursday/December 14th 

The Dear Hunter @Union Transfer(8 pm, 1024 Spring Garden St.)………..Neil Hamburger@Johnny Brenda’s(730 pm, 1201 Frankford Ave)………Ryan Kinder@The Foundry(8 pm, 1000 Frankford Ave)………..Vincent Ingala@South(7 pm, 600 N. Broad St.)………..Betty Iron Thums@The Barbary(745 pm, 951 Frankford Ave)………..The Stolen@Voltage Lounge(630 pm, 421 N. 7th St.)……….Snaggletooth@Kung Fu Necktie Upstairs(9 pm, 1250 N. Front St.)….Christian Smith@Rumor(11pm, 1500 Sansom St.)

Friday/December 15th 

Michael Bolton@Sugarhouse Casino(9 pm, 1000 Frankford Ave)………..Municipal Waste@The Trocadero(7 pm, 10003 Arch St.)………Trophy Eyes/Free Throw@The Fillmore(6 pm, 29 E. Allen St.)…………Ofenbach@Coda(8 pm, 1712 Walnut St.)……….The Dan Band@TLA(8 pm, 334 South St.)……Two Friends@NOTO(10 pm, 1209 Vine St.)……….Owel@Voltage Lounge(730 pm, 421 N. 7th St.)……….Muscle Tough@Johnny Brenda’s(9 pm, 1201 Frankford Ave)