Latest Poetry Jam in NYC Is Off-Bway Revival of for colored girls, Feb. 19-March 16

News   Latest Poetry Jam in NYC Is Off-Bway Revival of for colored girls, Feb. 19-March 16 Broadway may have Def Poetry Jam at the moment, but 25 years ago a precedent was set for poetic work that viewed the world through new eyes, with Ntozake Shange's for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf.

Theatre Double presents a new Equity revival of the so-called "choreopoem" Feb. 19-March 16 at the Chashma Arts Center, 135 West 42nd Street. The 1974 Obie-winning and Tony Award-nommed work played The Public Theater and jumped to Broadway 1976-78, with Shange playing one of seven women who (according to Theatre Double) "reveal themselves, their lives, loves, hardships, and ultimately their discovery of strength and love." The production was nominated for a 1977 Best Play Tony Award and actress Trazana Beverley won a Tony in the category of Best Actress in a Featured Role (Play).

Directed by Michael LeLand, the new Off-Broadway cast features Shelita Birchett, Juanita Amonitti, Erika Ewing, Nadine Mozon, Jennifer Bragg, Victoria Gonzales and Penwah. Theatre Double's production of for colored girls ran an unprecedented 10 weeks at the Theatre Double Mainstage in Philadelphia in 2001 and received enthusiastic reviews.

The cast includes Theatre Double artistic director and co-founder Shelita Birchett and Penwah [sic], a veteran of television ("Family Matters"), New York stage (George C. Wolfe's The Colored Museum) and the recording industry.

Director LeLand's Philadelphia and New York productions include Theatre Double's Just the Boys and Jason and Medea, both of which he created with Birchett. LeLand directed Jason Miller in Barrymore's Ghost, written and performed by the Pulitzer Prize-winner Miller, who died shortly after. LeLand is a member of the Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab, and for three years he was the CEO of Theatre Double's two-theatre complex in Center City Philadelphia.

Theatre Double is a non-profit, multi-cultural and multi-generational, artist-managed theatre company based in Philadelphia and New York City. The performance schedule is 8 PM Wednesday-Saturday, 2 PM Saturday and 4 PM Sunday. Tickets are $19. For information, call (212) 352-3101.