By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Color Purple opened this week at the Forest Theater and on Thursday the cast will host a women’s talk back in Old City. The Pulitzer prize-winning story has a renewed relevance.

The Color Purple Broadway Revival tells the story of Celie, a black girl living in Georgia during the early 20th century. She is molested by her step father, gives birth to their two children and is later married off to an abusive man. But she evolves into a powerful woman.

“The culture shift that is happening now we’ve seen before,” says J. Daughtry, a banker turned singer/actor who plays Harpo, Celie’s stepson. In the play he was taught by his father, “Mister,” to beat his wife, Sophia, into submission. But his abuse bred defiance and Harpo soon learned the error of his ways. Overt time, Harpo evolved and began to empower the women in his life. Daughtry says seeing Harpo evolve in the play reminds him of what he hopes will be the evolution of men during the #MeToo movement.

“Women are empowered and they are building their strength, and now we as men can take what we have an assist them,” he says. “We can see that maybe we were a part of the problem and now can ask the question of what we can do to make change.”

The female cast members of The Color Purple will hold a free talk lunchtime empowerment discussion at the African-American Museum. It’s part of the museum’s art exhibit “Gardens of the Mind – Echoes of the Feminine View.”

The Color Purple runs through December 17.

For tickets, visit the Kimmel Center’s website.

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