For Colored Girls... 40th Anniversary Lines Up Tony-Winning Cast, Including LaChanze, Lillias White and More

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23 May 2014

Joseph Marzullo/WENN

A June 16 benefit presentation of Ntozake Shange's Tony Award-nominated play for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf will feature a line-up of Tony Award-winning stars.

Presented in partnership with the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS and Project1VOICE at Harlem Hospital Pavilion, the event "celebrates what it means to be female in the 21st century, with a focus on empowering women and girls." The reading will mark the 40th anniversary of the play's stage premiere.

Seret Scott will direct the 6 PM reading that will feature original for colored girls star Trazana Beverley, as well as LaChanze (If/Then), Adriane Lenox (After Midnight), Tonya Pinkins (Caroline, or Change) and Lillias White (The Life).

The reading will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by author, journalist and blogger Demetria Lucas, with author Terrie Williams, author and HIV activist Dawn Breedon, and HIV and health advocate Dr. Aletha Maybank.

For colored girls... "is a compilation of 20 poems, collectively called a 'choreopoem.' Shange’s poetry expresses the struggles and obstacles that all women may face in their lives. It is performed by a cast of seven women characters, each of whom is only known by a color, such as Lady in Red. The women in the play learn to celebrate their beauty, their friendships, their scars, their successes, and their connection to something larger and divine. With vivid, lyrical language—specific in its pain and universal in its reach—for colored girls... evokes feelings that continue to excite, inspire, and transform audiences around the world, four decades after becoming a Broadway sensation," press notes state.

Tickets, priced $75, are available at