"There comes a time when a satirical writer, if he's really out for blood, must stop clowning around and move in for the kill. That unmistakable moment of truth arrives about halfway through THE COLORED MUSEUM, the wild new evening of black black humor at the Public Theater. In a sketch titled `The Last Mama-on-the-Couch Play,' the author, George C Wolfe, says the unthinkable, says it with uncompromising wit and leaves the audience, as well as a sacred target, in ruins. The devastated audience, one should note, includes both blacks and whites. Mr. Wolfe is the kind of satirist, almost unheard of in today's timid theater, who takes no prisoners.... The issue raised by his Hansberry parody percolates in every sketch: How do American black men and women at once honor and escape the legacy of suffering that is the baggage of their past?...The other `exhibits' in Mr. Wolfe's museum are contemporary blacks torn between the cultural legacy of oppression and revolt and the exigencies of living in the present. Perhaps the prototypical Wolfe character is a pin-stripe-suited businessman who tries to throw away his past (`Free Huey' buttons, Sly Stone records, his first dashiki) only to discover that his rebellious younger self refuses to be trashed without a fight...."
Frank Rich, The New York Times
The eleven "exhibits" in THE COLORED MUSEUM are: GIT ON BOARD, one female; COOKIN' WITH AUNT ETHEL, one female; THE PHOTO SESSION, one male and one female; SOLDIER WITH A SECRET, one male; THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MISS ROJ, two males; THE HAIRPIECE, three females; THE LAST MAMA-ON-THE-COUCH PLAY, one male, three females, and a narrator; SYMBIOSIS, two males; LALA'S OPENING, four females; PERMUTATIONS, one female; and THE PARTY, one male, four females.
Music parts available for rental for production are keyboard/conductor, synthesizer, guitar, bass, drums, misc. percussion, vocal, trumpet, trombone, tenor sax I, and tenor sax II.