How do you emasculate the institutionalized bigotry that held sway for centuries in the cotton fields of South Georgia? If you're the late playwright and activist Ossie Davis, you render it in such cartoonish dimensions that its barbarity is obvious, its absurdity indisputable.
Photo: Phillip Hamer The Purlie cast sings and dances its way to outwitting plantation owner Ol' Cap'n.
At least that's what Davis hoped for with Purlie, his musical tale of a silver-tongued preacher who schemes to trick a white plantation owner out of a church. Based on Davis' earlier play, Purlie Victorious, the musical adaptation, now given expansive treatment as The Black Rep's competent season opener, is rife with caricatures from the Jim Crow South.More »