For Colored Girls’ Is a Choreopoem. What’s a Choreopoem?

This landmark work, “a whole new form of theater,” originated with a poet, Ntozake Shange, dancing.

Comments: 8

  1. I saw what I think was the original New York production in a small church in Manhattan in 1975 - featuring the great Trazana Beverley. She brought down the house. I wish I could remember exactly which church. Anyway, it was a revelation.

  2. Saw it in Boston, 1982ish. Still get goosebumps when I think about it.

  3. Ntozake Shange was a guest on an early Sunday morning NBC TV show. We rehearsed before the show, just her and the stagehands. When we first heard her lyrics we laughed, but after a while, everyone was mesmerized by her performance. She was a brilliant artist who impressed a hard-bitten bunch of guys who had seen lots of theater.

  4. As a white boy enrolled in CUNY’s theater department in the 1970s, I was lucky enough to have had the life-changing experience of seeing “for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf” (that’s how Ntozake Shange spelled it) on Broadway five times. Trazana Beverley’s soul-shattering (and Tony-winning) delivery of “a nite with beau willie brown" will remain with me forever. I still have my first edition of the hardcover text, but I wish someone at Columbia Masterworks, which released the original cast album on LP (I have no idea which company owns the rights in 2019) would re-release it on CD. It took until 2009 for Tennessee-based ArkivMusic to release a CD of the original cast album (also recorded by Columbia Masterworks) of the Richard Foreman/Stanley Silverman revision of Kurt Weill’s “Threepenny Opera” which played at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre in 1976/1977 (the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music did not approve the translation used and did its best to even keep it from being recorded). Maybe with a few calls or letters to Sony (which I believe is the successor-in-interest to Columbia Masterworks) or ArkivMusic might show there is a demand to hear the documentation of those glorious first colored girls.

  5. Saw it this week. V well acted. But def past its sell date. What were they thinking ?

  6. @GC It's a Classic and we are honoring the art and beauty of an ancestor.

  7. The solo picture of magnificent Ms Brown puts to my mind Africa draped in a tangerine cloud.

  8. I included this collection when I taught lit courses at the university. We listened to passages and read others aloud in class. One of the high points of my career occurred when a former student majoring in drama who was directing a production of the collection asked me to spend an evening with the cast to discuss the poems.