Hillary Clinton Receives Ovation at ‘The Color Purple’ - The New York Times
New York Times
8th January 2017
Hillary Clinton, who has kept a relatively low public profile since losing the presidential election two months ago, on Sunday showed up at the final performance of the Broadway revival of “The Color Purple,” reveling in the story of a beleaguered woman who triumphs over the oppressive men in her life (and, along the way, discovers a love for colorful pants). Mrs. Clinton, accompanied by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and their daughter, Chelsea, received several ovations from the audience as she arrived, and then another round of applause when she was acknowledged by the cast after the show.
“There’s a lot of really awesome famous and notable people here today,” the actress Patrice Covington, who gave the farewell speech on behalf of the cast after the show, said to the audience. “I’m not going to call all of them out — I know you already know them,” she said, before pausing, looking in Mrs. Clinton’s direction, and waving at her mischievously.
At that, the audience erupted into a new, loud round of applause. The reaction was substantially warmer than the scattered booing and clapping that greeted the arrival of Vice Mike Pence when he attended “Hamilton,” just one block north, on Nov. 18.
“We love you Hillary,” some audience members shouted. Several thanked Mrs. Clinton and told her, “God bless you.
” “God bless you,” Mrs. Clinton replied. Mrs.
Clinton was besieged by before the show, at intermission and as she was ushered out a side door after the musical ended (“Whoa!” said her husband as they left.) Jordan Serpone, 33, an audience member from Boston, said that spotting Mrs. Clinton was a surprisingly moving experience for him.
“I was having every emotion I’ve tried to get rid of over the past few weeks,” he said during intermission. He shook her hand, but said he is still filled with frustration over her loss. “She shouldn’t be here.
She should be planning her cabinet,” he said. Because the Sunday matinee was the last performance for the acclaimed production, which won last year’s Tony award for best musical revival, the crowd was starry: Among those in the audience were Jonathan Groff, Mariska Hargitay, Gayle King, Debra Messing, Leslie Odom Jr. Billy Porter, Phylicia Rashad and Anna Wintour.
Public sightings of Mrs. Clinton in the weeks since the election have been sufficiently rare that they create a stir on social media. Strangers have sought photographs with her at stores and in the woods near her home in Chappaqua, N.
Y. But Mrs. Clinton has indicated that she and her husband plan to attend the inauguration of Donald J.
Trump as president on Jan. 20. “The Color Purple” tells the searing story of a young black woman abused by her stepfather and her husband in rural Georgia in the early 20th century.
The musical is an adaptation of a 1982 novel, by Alice Walker, which was awarded the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Steven Spielberg adapted the novel into a film in 1985, and Oprah Winfrey, who was featured in the film, went on to become an important champion, and of the musical. The musical has been one of the most successful at attracting black audiences to Broadway.
It first opened on Broadway in 2005, and features a book by Marsha Norman and music and lyrics by Stephen Bray, Brenda Russell and Allee Willis. The revival, which opened in 2015 and was directed by John Doyle, featured a performance by the British actress Cynthia Erivo. She won a Tony award for best actress in a leading role in a musical.
The last show took place on Ms. Erivo’s 30th birthday..
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