Tyler Perry Announces Film Cast for Ntozake Shange’s Play, “For Colored Girls”

(The Lady in Red, from For Colored Girls)

From Tambay at Shadow and Act:

At last night’s premiere for his latest film, Why Did I Get Married Too?, Tyler Perry revealed his cast for his upcoming adaptation of Ntozake Shange’s choreopoem, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf, and Black Voices was there to capture it all.

So, all the rumors and guesses as to which actresses (or non-actresses) will be selected to star in the film, can officially be squelched.

Without further ado… here’s your cast folks (part of it anyway): Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Whoopi Goldberg, Phylicia Rashad, Jurnee Smollett, Kimberly Elise, Kerry Washington, and Macy Gray.

No Oprah Winfrey? When I last checked she was the only one who was a sure thing, according to both she and Tyler Perry. Also, no Beyonce, Halle Berry, Angela Bassett, or Thandie Newton as previously mentioned. Although, they could still very well be cast in peripheral roles.

Recall in my original post on the casting of the film last year, Perry said there are 15 total roles in the film. Shange’s play includes a cast of 7 nameless women, each known only by a color – “Lady in Yellow,” “Lady in Purple,” “Lady in Blue,” “Lady in Red,” “Lady in Brown,” “Lady In Orange,” and “Lady in Green” – each with her own unabashedly frank individual story on what it means to be female and black in contemporary USA, while touching on themes such as love, abandonment, rape, and abortion.

The above casting list comprises of 8 women. Black Voices doesn’t state what role each actress will assume, so, I guess we’ll just have to wait to find out in coming months, along with who else will make up the rest of the cast.

The film is scheduled for a 2011 release.

Do you have a sense that there is some lingering standoffishness over Tyler Perry’s choices, as well as his choice of film project? You bet there is.

I’m sorry to report that I was not one of those women in the early Seventies who crowded into an East Bay (Oakland-Berkeley, CA) venue, reportedly a coffeehouse, to see the first production of Shange’s choreopoem, while she was teaching at Mills College and at U.C. Extension. But I saw it when the Obie Award -winning choreopoem first went on tour in the late Seventies. It was an illuminating experience for many black women who had had joy and sufferings like one or several of The Women. Some brothers were moved enough to go with their sisters, mothers or girlfriends to the play to get over their discomfort and to learn something.

However, it was one of the two literary documents–Michele Wallace’s Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman was the other–that made black men see red. Why? Because both dared to critique the darker underpinnings of black nationalism and its culture among African Americans as well as black male sexism and its impact on black women and children.

Black Voices, however, said this:

Elise and Carey are the only two that made the cut from Perry’s initial wish list that he mentioned back in September 2009, which initially included 16-time Grammy Award winner Beyonce Knowles, Academy Award winner Halle Berry and media queen Oprah Winfrey.

“Making a film of ‘For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf’ is a dream come true for me,” Perry said about the project. “Ntozake Shange’s play is a magnificent tribute to the strength and dignity of women of color, and I think audiences of all generations will be able to recognize and embrace the experiences these women represent. Creatively, this movie is one of the most exciting undertakings of my career.”

Hm…well, nobody wants to see this fcked up. Nobody. And that’s putting it mildly.

~ by blksista on March 23, 2010.

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