The cast of the Guthrie Theater’s The Parchman Hour, written by Mike Wiley and directed by Patricia McGregor. Scenic design by Clint Ramos, costume design by Katherine O’Neill, lighting design by Jiyoun Chang and projection design by Tom Mays. October 1 – November 6, 2016 on the McGuire Proscenium Stage at the Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis. Photo by Dan Norman.
Rise UP….it calls you from the stage….RISE UP!
Chilling and inspiring!
The Parchman Hour is incredibly important during this time of unrest. Lately I’ve felt that the world is falling apart, that times are worse than ever. The Parchman Hour reminds us that there have always been huge challenges. That it was the people who took action, used their voices and stood together that made true change. They also sacrificed so much.
The history of the 1961 Freedom Rides told through songs and stories touched my soul. I can’t express enough how good this show is on so many levels. The acting, the singing, the stage, the story, the lesson. The Freedom Riders were courageous men and women from all backgrounds standing together against segregation. They traveled to the deep south only to be arrested and imprisoned in Mississippi’s Parchman Farm Penitentiary. The lived through it by creating a nightly variety show called “The Parchman Hour”.
The human spirit is truly amazing and can do the impossible when pushed. I left the theater inspired and also asking myself, am I willing to push? Am I willing to sacrifice for the greater good? Today more than ever, it is important to take action. Not only on social media where it’s easy to hide and to judge. We live in a great country where we can actually make change when we do it right. This musical offers that hope. Don’t miss it!
A few things to note:
- Even with the serious tone, it’s very entertaining which is the magic of it. You’ll be on your feet dancing by the end.
- I LOVE that they portray us as ONE.
- It was amazing to see the mug shots of the real Freedom Riders during the show, it brings the story to life and full circle.
- Keep an eye on Katherine Fried (Actor 2 – Janie Forsyth/Mimi Real) and Zonya Love (Actor 5 – Pearl/L.Collins) Their voices and acting blew me away!
P.S. If you go on the weekend, you HAVE to try the Biscuits and Gravy at the Sea Change. Mouth watering goodness. The biscuits are crispy, the sausage gravy has the perfect texture and seasoning…not too spicy. THEN they add two splendidly poached eggs on top. It’s a little piece of heaven. They run out so get there early!! My picture could have been better but I was salivating. 😉