Thursday, June 26, 2008

India Arie To Make Broadway Debut In Whoopie Goldberg Produced Revival Of Ntozake Shange's For Colored Girls

This is shaping up to be an exciting new production. They have some big guns. I will be interested to know the rest of the cast. They will have some giant shoes to fill considering that the original cast had Lynn Whitfield and Alfre Woodard. I hope they don't change with Shange's choreopoem in any way.

And maybe black men won't freak out about the play like they did in the 1970s. It's very scary how Shange's words still have the same powerful meaning in 2008. If you have never read this work or it's been a long time, get a copy.


Anonymous,  June 26, 2008 at 12:04 AM  

This is exciting--can't wait! Too bad I didn't know it was in the works!

Thanks Professor Tracey

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T June 26, 2008 at 12:10 AM  

play tight
she better do it justice

faith June 26, 2008 at 5:50 AM  

This will be great. Why did it take so long for a revival? And what has happened to all the amazing Black female playwrights?

tasha212 June 26, 2008 at 9:37 AM  

This is definately a production that I want to see. I'll have to get copy and read it.

Anonymiss June 26, 2008 at 10:04 AM  

I'll be checking for this and the book.

What freaked Black men out about it? Is the same type of resentment harbored at Alice Walker over The Color Purple?

weemsrj,  June 26, 2008 at 1:23 PM  

This is exciting news! This may be the production that gets me to redeem some airline miles and high tail it to NY's Broadway.

wisdomteachesme June 26, 2008 at 1:46 PM  

honestly i don't care if they do freak out over what is the truth for many women-not just black women.

i don't care if other women freak out--

their narrowness and self hatred matters to me none.

you know, you can't teach a person anything that they are not wiling to learn.
Once a person has been exposed to truth, knowledge and wisdom--and do not take it and grow from it all, then these people want to stay in the dark and live some psuedo disney lives--that is the choice they have made for themselves--i'll keep praying for them but i will not let them hold back what needs to be said and done to help others.

if men and many women, cannot see the lessons that this play/book and countless others offer--then let them remain with ears but cannot hear--let them remain with eyes but cannot see. the blind cannot lead the blind--they both end up in a ditch.

i learned that i cannot teach a child what a child does not want to learn=as learning also includes CHANGING and ACCEPTANCE OF ALL TRUTHS whether the the truths are about self or others.

and so many do not want to they do not learn--therefore--they are doomed to be in a repeating cycle of making stupid mistakes.

so many people are standing in a hole-that is filling with water- running in place- trying to look busy and important--it still amazing me
how deep shallow is!

but it will not stop what i have been called to do.
and i pray for the countless others that have been called to help--that they will also stand their ground and do as they have been purposed to do.

sevenofnine June 27, 2008 at 3:31 PM  

This is wonderful news! I've taken school trips to see this play, and given copies of the book to my students. I'm excited to hear that India Arie is part of the production and I am so proud of Whoopie for producing it!

What your readers may not know is that the author of this "choreopoem" actually suffered a NERVOUS BREAKDOWN because of criticism by the Black Community
of the Broadway production which we both loved so much!

You can find the story in Evelyn C. White's biography of Alice Walker, who had to a cross picket lines for the first time in her life, in order to attend the opening night of her movie -

Here is a short excerpt from Ms. White's biography of Alice Walker (p.296):


"In 1976, For Colored Girls, Shange's searing collage of choreographed poems about the oppression of black women, was produced on Broadway to a thunderous response. Not since the 1959 opening of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun had a play by a black woman appeared on "the great white way." And in an unprecedented affirmation of her achievement, Shange would be deluged with honors, among them nominations for Tony, Grammy, and Emmy Awards.

"But the praise would not come without a swift and virulent condemnation by those who felt that in its dramatization of the anguish of black women, For Colored Girls had also publicly maligned black men. Especially galling to Shange's detractors were scenes in the play about a black Vietnam veteran who flings his children out of a window to avenge his rejection by his abused wife, and "Sorry," in which the all-female cast recited, to pointed effect, a litany of excuses men give for their mistreatment of women.

"Blindsided by both her meteoric rise and the harsh criticism she endured in the aftermath of her success, Shange descended into a tailspin of depression and self-acknowledged substance abuse. Nearly thirty years later, she said it was the support of The Sisterhood, most notably the compassionate concern of Alice, that buttressed her as she struggled to reclaim herself.

"I never understood why my telling truthful stories about black women's lives enraged so many people," said Shange, who in For Colored Girls had launched the anthem I FOUND GOD IN MYSELF AND LOVED HER, LOVED HER, FIERCELY!"


When this play, with God's help is produced, we will have to defend our sister NTOZAKE, better than before, perhaps in a separate blog, like Gina's Michelle Obama watch!

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