Well Tyler Perry finally has my attention. I've been aware of his movies (even seen a few of them), his plays (never wanted to see one of them) and his TV shows. Tonight I saw For Colored Girls based on Ntozake Shange's work, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf. I saw that piece on Broadway back in the '70's and performed in 2 productions here in Los Angeles in the '80's. What Tyler Perry has done with this work is nothing short of brilliant, masterful, magic. I love the way he took it apart and put it back together seamlessly. Even though the actresses in the film still represented one particular color, no one had one whole monologue exactly the way Ntozake wrote it and that worked for me. Director Charlie Hall did something like that in the version I did at West Coast Ensemble. He passed away from AIDS in 1995 while I was riding my bicycle 573 miles in the CA AIDS Ride. I bring this up because Mr. Perry incorporated story lines to connect the pieces that included brothers on the down-low, HIV, abortion, domestic violence, rape and murder. Not very pretty subjects but extremely relevent topics.
The relationships between the women were so clear and the performances were breath-taking to say the least. It made my heart sing to watch Tessa Thompson (Nyla/lady in purple) in this film. I was the Nurse to her Juliet at Theatre @ Boston Court when she was fresh out of high school. I knew then that she was destined for great things in this business. She is one of the sweetest people I know, extremely talented and so grounded for someone her age. It showed as she put on her big girl pants and held her own with this A list cast of Blacktresses. It literally brought tears to my eyes, not just because of her work, but I am so happy for her.
I also thought it was very clever to give some of the poetry to the men and even knowing the poems as well as I do, the placement of them were not predictable.
So Mr. Perry, I would never beg you for a role in one of your projects, but I certainly won't turn it down if you'd ask me. It will be interesting to see where your career goes from here.