KC Rep dusts off classic poetic ‘For Colored Girls…’

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By Greg Cantrell

Don Ipock/KC Reertory Theatre

KCRep’s revival of Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf” enthralls with a perfect fusion of poetry, dance, music and color, as the production skillfully relates the struggles and challenges that many African-American women encounter in their lives in a racist and sexist society.

“For Colored Girls…” is a wonderful and complex presentation of monologues – dubbed a “choreopoem” by Shange- originally written in 1974 as twenty separate poems. “For Colored Girls…” weaves a complex tapestry representative of the everyday lives of “sisterhood” performed by seven “colored girls”, addressing what are today still very relevant themes found in the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements, in addition to love/love lost, abandonment and abortion amongst others.

Don Ipock/KC Reertory Theatre

The cast of “For Colored Girls…” consists of seven nameless African-American women identified only by a color in equally wonderful performances by Sharyon Culberson – Lady in Blue, Chioma Anyanwu – Lady in Purple, Celeste Cooper – Lady in Red, Ashe Jaafaru – Lady in Brown, Amber McKinnon – Lady–in Orange, Meredith Noel – Lady in Yellow and Teonna Wesley – Lady in Green.

Director Khanisha Foster’s fabulous presentation includes a technical team of Sheryl Liu – Scenic Design, Samantha C. Jones – Costume Design, Akin Ritchie – Lighting Design, Miles Polaski – Sound Design, Matt Carlin – Asst. Scenic Design and Tenley Pitonzo – Production Stage Manager.  The sublime choreography is orchestrated by Brigette Dunn- Korpela.

Don Ipock/KC Reertory Theatre

“For Colored Girls…” is “sensual porn”, viscerally stimulating your visual and auditory senses while evoking deeply empathetic emotions in tandem. Timeless in message and stunning in presentation, “For Colored Girls…” still resonates.

“For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When The Rainbow Is Enuf” runs through November 10,  at KCRep’s Copaken Stage (1 H & R Block Way, Kansas City, 64105). Tickets start at just $35 and may be purchased by visiting https://kcrep.org/show/for-colored-girls  or by calling the KCRep box office at 816-235-2700. Groups of nine or more receive discounted tickets by calling Andrew Cotlar at 816-235-6122.

Tags: “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide” Review, KCRep, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Kansas City Theater, Kansas City Arts, Kansas City Theater, Kansas City Performing Arts, Kansas City Arts & Entertainment

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