After the stunning opening night performance of “The Color Purple” at Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey, I had a chance to informally chat with Adrianna Hicks (Celie) and Carrie Compere (Sofia) at the after party between photo shoots. In sharp contrast to Celie, who must spend hours in make-up and wardrobe to look so shabby and downtrodden, Adrianna (in a fabu purple jumpsuit) is beautiful and radiant. Carrie is just gorgeous and as sparkling as her character Sofia. Both Adrianna and Carrie were authentic and forthcoming and I thank them for taking time to talk to me before they even had a chance to get some dinner.
What was the first performance you saw that inspired you to pursue theater?
Adrianna: I saw a high school production of “Guys and Dolls” and I just knew. We cannot underestimate the power and importance of the arts in school.
Carrie: I never considered a career in theater until I saw “Betsey Brown” at McCarter Theater in Princeton. It was an all-black cast and I saw myself on stage.
How do you prepare for the strong roles of Celie and Sofia?
Adrianna and Carrie: (answering in unison) From God!
Adrianna: From God’s grace.
After you give so much to your performance, how do you relax and unwind?
Adrianna and Carrie: (again in unison and without hesitation) Netflix!
Adrianna: I love “Jane the Virgin” it is so funny. I’m also watching “Maniac” with Emma Stone.
Carrie: I just finished watching “The Money Pit” with Tom Hanks. A friend recommended it.
[Note: Adrianna and Carrie were gracious as we were interrupted for more publicity shots. Eventually I caught up with them again as they joined the very end of the buffet line. I love them even more when I saw they headed straight to the pasta. I followed.]