Monday, October 11, 2010

Ntozake Shange's Tony Award Winning Play; Tyler Perry's Next Big Thing

cover of the 1980 Bantam editionImage via Wikipedia

Tyler Perry's next film will be an adaptation of Ntozake Shange's, award winning play, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf.  The film is set to hit theaters, Friday, November 5.

Ntozake originally wrote the play in 1975.  It was first staged in California before hitting Off and eventually The Great White Way (Broadway).  

The play is written as a series of 20 poems (collectively called a "choreopoem").  Which was originally performed by a cast of seven women.  Each woman only known by a color.  Their color a big part of their own story and life experiences.  Here are some of their names:   Lady in Yellow and Lady in Purple.  The poems deal with: love, abandonment, rape and abortion.  Just your basic daily issues that women (all women) of color have to deal with.  

Here's and excerpt about the book from Wikipedia:  The poems deal with love, abandonment, rape, and abortion, embodied by each woman's story, i.e. Lady in Blue's visceral account of a woman who chooses to have an abortion, and Lady in Red's tale of domestic violence. The end of the play brings together all of the women for "a laying on of hands," in which Shange evokes the power of womanhood as the Lady in Red begins the mantra "I found God in myself/and I loved her/I loved her fiercely."
Tyler's adaptation will focus on nine women and deal with more modern day situations, although many of the issues will be the same.  He has called on some of Black Hollywood's most esteemed women to play the key roles.  His main eight are: Janet Jackson, Thandie Newton, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose, Kerry Washington, Kimberly Elise, Loretta Devine and Whoopi Goldberg, with Macy Gray as Rose, playing a ninth key character.  

He's moved away from the colors as names and given the women modern-day names, however each woman's color is still represented by their clothing.  Looks like Janet who's character's name is Jo, represents Red and Anki Nona Rose represents Yellow.   

--Princess Carter
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