AMAZING! THOUGHT-PROVOKING! MOVING! Are all words to describe the feeling after seeing Director John Ruffin Jr. and Theatre 47’s stage play adaptation of “Imitation of Life”. With a cast of rising stars in entertainment, the actors, actresses, singers and dancers delivered a stellar performance.
Imitation of Life is a powerful story of race, rebellion, acceptance and business. Set in the 1930’s a White widow, Bea Pullman and her daughter Jessie are heirs to husband’s pancake syrup business. The business isn’t do so well and Mrs. Pullman is in need of help around the house. Despite her financial hardships, exchanging for room and board, she offers the job to Delilah, a Black woman and her her light-complected daughter, Peola. They all become family and Delilah and Bea eventually go into business together, as Delilah makes the most delicious pancakes from a special family recipe.
Relationships become rocky. Jessie is demanding, not particularly studious, relying instead on her charm, and is the first person to call Peola “Black”. Peola is ashamed of being Black. She tries to live her life passing for White and becomes resentful toward her mother and embarrassed when she shows up to her singing gig one night also where her White boyfriend is the club owner, in search of her. As the story progresses, both Bea and Delilah become quite successful and wealthy. However, in other aspects of life, realities aren’t so “picture-perfect”.
Leading Lady Jasmine Patton gave a riveting presentation as Delilah and sang our hearts happy and fueled each scene with great emotion. The original music scored for this performance will have you moving all through-out the show. Job well-done for Broadway in Bronzeville! You can catch “Imitation of Life”throughout February at the Harold Washington Cultural Center, 4701 South King Drive.
IMITATION OF LIFE : Adapted and Directed By John Ruffin
7:00 PM CST (6:00 PM DOORS)
$40.00 – $60.00
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