The final Broadway performance of beloved musical The Color Purple was made even more special thanks to one particular audience member. After her electoral college loss in November, Hillary Clinton has kept a pretty low profile, but she surfaced on January 8th for this momentous afternoon at the theatre. Along with husband Bill and daughter Chelsea, Secretary Clinton was greeted with several long ovations from the crowd. Her presence appeared to take what would have already been a memorable performance to a whole new level for many of her supporters who were in attendance.
It should be no surprise that Secretary Clinton found the story to be moving and relevant since, as the New York Times described it, it tells “the story of a beleaguered woman who triumphs over the oppressive men in her life.” The woman who told that story, star Cynthia Erivo, inspired even more ovations than her most famous audience member. The Clinton family was able to offer their congratulations to Cynthia and other actors backstage after the show.
Although the Clintons were the most famous faces in the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre that day, there were plenty of other stars there to see the award-winning revival out. Other well-known people in attendance were Mariska Hargitay, Gayle King, Debra Messing, Anna Wintour, and Leslie Odom Jr.
The North American Tour of the show will begin in the Fall of 2017. Based on its reception on Broadway, it will likely be very successful. It will be hard, though, to recreate the energy in the room during that final performance. That energy was significantly boosted by the presence of Mrs. Clinton, and perhaps it was just the boost she needed as well.