The Knockturnal was on the scene for The Color Purple Broadway cast soundtrack Listening Party on Thursday, February 11 at The W Hotel Times Square.
Kyle Scatliffe plays Harpo on the show. He is also known for playing Enjolras in the 2014 Broadway revival of Les Misérables. Read our exclusive interview below:
Speak about Harpo’s journey and what you most related to.
Kyle: The journey to becoming a man, to becoming your own person. I relate to that very much so, because I feel like I’m still in the middle of that journey. I feel like that journey might never end. I think that it’s like one of those things like being an actor where we continue learning our whole lives, we never stop learning. I think that’s important to never become stagnant in your life and to make sure that you continue learning. I feel like that’s what Harpo does throughout the story. He learns how to become a man, even though his father is a completely different man than he is and his father wants him to be something specific that his grandfather threw on top of him, but Harpo is not a part of that, even though that’s his father, that’s his grandfather, his lineage isn’t tied up in that, he’s two generations removed from slavery so he doesn’t have as much of that in him. But he’s ready to take on the world as the man he’s gonna become and he does that with the help of Sofia, and Celie and Shug Avery and Squeak as well. Those four women change his life and make him realize that he needs to be his own man.
Speak about working with Danielle Brooks.
She is incredible, I’ve never had that much chemistry with someone onstage before in my life. We keep discovering things as we go along, we have fun backstage. When we come off stage during scenes, we laugh with each other. We feel like a tandem, it’s a team effort, and I couldn’t have asked for a better scene partner she’s wonderful.
Since we are celebrating the cast recording, what are your favorite numbers?
My favorite numbers in the is show the opening number. “The Good Lord Works,” he sure does. It’s my first recording, so I’m so excited. “Hell No” definitely, “Ms Celie’s Pants” you can catch me dancing backstage during that number on a nightly basis, and “I’m Here,” because I watch Cynthia do that almost every night backstage on a monitor and “Too Beautiful for Words” the way Jen sings it, the way that she relates the story of that song is so beautiful. On a nightly basis I almost cry, it’s really beautiful what she does.
Speak about your passion for the theater.
I believe that theater can change lives. I believe that people can come into a building; it’s almost like a church, we are almost like our own version of a church. We come in and then people come in with their problems, they may not vocalize what their problems are and sometimes they see a show that can spark a reaction, that can spark a change in their bodies, or a change in their life that they want to make. I think theater can do that for people. That’s one of the reasons I love it. I mean people also like sometimes say “hey don’t you love it because people love you and they clap for you.” I’m like “it’s not for me it’s for you guys.” It’s my way of giving back to the world while doing something I love.
Who is an important mentor in your career?
Donna Bialkin my high school theater teacher. Without her I never would have started. She came to Les Miserables, too. She comes to every show I’m in, if I’m in the area. She started me on the journey in tenth grade and I’ve never got off the ship.
You can get the album here:
Lead photo by Matthew Murphy