Well, y'know, as long as I'm on this Purlie roll, I'm going to stick with it for probably a couple more days. For two reasons. One is that it's a little-known show, so this is material that most people don't know. And the other is that I think it's a terrific musical with wonderful material.
But there are specific reasons for these next couple of pieces. Tomorrow's is totally different from what's come before and on its own level a real treat. Today's because it's good quality video of Melba Moore who deserves it, most especially compared to that grainy Tony footage.
This comes from the 1981 TV production, in which she re-created her Tony-winning role of 11 years earlier, as Lutibelle. And it's one of the other big numbers she has that helped her win -- it's the title song and her first number in the show. Like all her performances in the show, it's the epitome of charm and sweetness. Not the barn-burner of I Got Love, but showing the other end of the spectrum. The star of this production was Robert Guillaume, who at the time was starring on TV as Benson. (Sherman Hensley and Linda Hopkins also re-created their performances from the original Broadway musical.)
By the way, in the original stage production of the source material by Ossie Davis, the straight play Purlie Victorious, and the movie version -- both of which Davis starred in -- the role of Lutibelle was played by the great Ruby Dee, who was Ossie Davis's wife.
But back to the musical. Here is Melba Moore with the title song from Purlie, music and lyrics by Gary Geld and Peter Udell
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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