The touring musical version of “The Color Purple” opened in Chicago at the Cadillac Palace Theater on Thursday night. Oprah attended the premiere, as did Mayor Daley and Roger Ebert.
My husband and I were right there downtown on Sunday night, and we saw the fans on their way into this show that has Big Media behind it. We were headed, however, just across the street to the Allegro Hotel, to attend a benefit for the Lifeline Theatre.
The Lifeline Theatre, located in the Chicago neighborhood of Rogers Park, is a lovely, tiny theater that puts on a remarkable series of performances for children, and another series for adults. Our family has attended many of the children’s shows, all of which are adapted from well-loved children’s books. Lifeline’s version of Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type was one I’ll never forget, mostly because our daughters laughed huge, physical laughs at every single joke (but also because we were seated in the front row, just an arm’s length away from the actors). Afterwards, the actors autographed the girls’ programs with “Power to the cows!” I couldn’t envision a better theater-going experience for my young daughters.
So I was pleased to find that Alpana Singh, who recently moved to Rogers Park, decided to put her creative backing behind Lifeline. Alpana is a celebrity sommelier and television host, and I might add, a cool, young person with obvious smarts. She organized her wine contacts and writer husband to come together for a night of wine tasting, short theater and socializing. Alpana spoke simply and forcefully about wine and community, she signed her new book, and remained in attendance for the entire event. Based on ticket prices and silent auction bids, I’m guessing she helped raise more than 50K in 3 hours, a considerable amount for a theater of this size. In her remarks at the start of the evening, Alpana referred, philosophically, to life’s “unexpected gifts.”
Of course! Lifeline has always been that to me. And isn’t it wonderful how now Alpana can be considered one of Lifeline’s?