The Color Purple is a heartbreaking period piece based on a harrowing novel about the hardships African-American women faced in the early 20th Century. Audiences know it best from the 1985 film directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Oprah Winfrey, but modern audiences have witnessed Alice Walker's poignant journey through a Tony Award-winning musical, which came to the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in February. With a stripped-down set and minimalist lighting, the production made way for its talented cast and accompanying music themes including gospel, jazz, blues, and ragtime. It should be a nearly impossible feat to put music and dance to a gut-wrenching story like The Color Purple, but this cast pulled it off in what was truly a work of musical theater alchemy. And yet, that is the indomitable spirit of the African-American plight: suffering overcome through song. The Color Purple musical nailed it.