The Big Three

THE BIG THREE

April 24, 2008

The Color Purple — THEATER

`Purple' on the road

The Color Purple - the story of Celie, a young black woman who endures abuse from men in her life and finds strength through the women around her - won a Pulitzer Prize as a novel by Alice Walker and received 11 Academy Award nominations as a film by Steven Spielberg. Now, the critically acclaimed classic heads to the stage in musical form at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center's Hippodrome Theatre, during its first North American tour. Gospel recording artist Jeannette Bayardelle plays Celie, and former American Idol contestant LaToya London plays her sister, Nettie.

Performances run Tuesday-May 18. Times vary. The Hippodrome is at 12 N. Eutaw St. $34-$125. Call 410-547-7328 or go to ticketmaster.com.

JENNIFER CHOI

HISTORY

`Shining' justice

Center Stage hosts the world premiere of award-winning playwright Melanie Marnich's These Shining Lives. The story takes place in the 1920s and revisits the landmark "Radium Girls" lawsuit. Female workers of the Radium Dial Co. thought they were under no harm from regular exposure to radium powder, until one by one, they started becoming ill. The play illuminates the struggle of a group of women, who in the face of unfavorable odds, decided to fight for justice, starting a legal battle that formed the basis for standards of industrial safety and corporate responsibility.

Performances run today-June 1. Center Stage is at 700 N. Calvert St. Times vary. $10-$60. Call 410-332-0033 or go to centerstage.org.

JENNIFER CHOI

ART

Dinos galore

Take a trip back to the Mesozoic Era in Walking With Dinosaurs - The Live Experience, a stage show based on the BBC television series Walking With Dinosaurs, which stops by 1st Mariner Arena for nine performances. Watch a 36 foot-tall Brachiosaurus, a T. Rex and other dinos as you take a journey through a condensed version of the creatures' 200 million-year reign. On stage, Earth's continents separate, deserts becomes green prairies, volcanoes erupt and oceans form. The special-effects-laden show has sold out at numerous venues around the country and received the 2007 Themed Entertainment Association Award for outstanding achievement in touring event.

Performances run Wednesday-May 4. Times vary. The arena is at 201 W. Baltimore St. $34.50-$71.50. Call 410-547-7328 or go to ticketmaster.com.

JENNIFER CHOI

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