A young, idealistic man returns home to the plantation where he grew up in servitude. With him, he brings his fiance, Lutiebelle, in hopes of convincing the plantation owner that she is ... See full summary »
A young, idealistic man returns home to the plantation where he grew up in servitude. With him, he brings his fiance, Lutiebelle, in hopes of convincing the plantation owner that she is really his cousin in order to secure the family inheritance. To aid in the comic complications that follow are his family members Missy and Gitlow, and the plantation owners endearing (but ineffectual) son Charlie. Written by
Jonathan Ruskin <JonRuskin@aol.com>
Actually, I have yet to see a live version with Ossie & Ruby but read the play years ago. I can't wait to see it realized especially with the original author, Ossie Davis, playing Purlie. I did see a version with Melba Moore playing Lutiebelle which was quite good - but Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee are, as far as I'm concerned, the quintessential First Couple in African-American theatre - any chance to see them perform together is always a treat. Even as a read, the play is quite hilarious and it works all the more imagining such talent as Ossie & Ruby realizing the roles. As a matter of fact, I read "Purlie Victorious" and 'Day of Absence" by Douglas Turner Ward, another excellent example of black theatre, together - they complement each other quite well as shining examples of black comedy satirizing existing racial attitudes then (hmmmm..and now..) The play is timeless, is not at ALL archaic by todays standards as many of the same issues tackled in Purlie as well as Day of Absence still exist, alas, in 2007.
But on a lighter note, owning a copy of "Purlie Victorious" performed by its auspicious author, the incomparable Ossie Davis, is simply a must for your collection.
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