Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company presents Dominique Morrisseau‘s Paradise Blue September 24- October 20 at the Southwest Arts Center.
Set in Detroit’s Black Bottom in 1949, Paradise Blue explores a time when the new mayor of Detroit is working to get rid of the “blight of the city” by moving Black people out of Detroit’s Black Bottom. Blue, a gifted trumpeter and tortured soul, considers selling his once thriving family jazz club, leaving his beloved Pumpkin and her dreams behind. As Blue fights personal demons to better his life and maintain his sanity, his fellow band members, Corn and P-Sam, are stuck wondering where they fit into the plan to benefit from the changes in their neighborhood. Silver, a sultry woman with a mysterious past, enters the scene with her own agenda, turning everyone’s lives upside down.
Artistic Director Jamil Jude will direct the dynamic and musically-infused Paradise Blue, which is True Colors’ third installment of Morisseau’s Detroit Project trilogy. True Colors is proud to be one of two theatres across the nation who will complete the trilogy in 2019, having produced Detroit ’67 in 2015 and Skeleton Crew earlier in February of this year. Morisseau’s theatrical relationship to her hometown has been compared to August Wilson’s devotion to writing a 10-play cycle based in his birthplace of Pittsburgh. Like Wilson, she captures the linguistic poetry and aspirations of the striving working class people she grew up with.
“Dominique’s way with words and how she builds complex characters are truly a director’s dream,” remarked Jude. “She gives you so much to play with—all of the elements she provides synthesize into a satisfying whole. I’m excited to work with her words, paired with a powerful cast of Atlanta-based actors, to fully realize Dominique’s world and to conclude her Detroit Project trilogy.”
True Colors is proud to support the local arts community with an all-Atlanta cast which features several True Colors’ alumni. Enoch Armando King, who portrayed “Sly” in Detroit ’67 (2015) and “Reggie” in Skeleton Crew (2019), is “P-Sam”. Javon Johnson(Stick Fly) is “Blue”, Cynthia D. Barker (For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf, Blues for an Alabama Sky, Black Nativity) is “Pumpkin”, and Keith Arthur Bolden (Fetch Clay/Make Man, Between Riverside and Crazy) is “Corn”. Tangela Large, a newcomer to True Colors’ stage, will play “Silver”.
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PHOTO CREDITS: True Colors Theatre Company