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The Colored Museum

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  302 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
The Colored Museum has electrified, discomforted, and delighted audiences of all colors, redefining our ideas of what it means to be black in contemporary America. Its eleven "exhibits" undermine black stereotypes old and new, and return to the facts of what being black means. " Mr. Wolfe is the kind of satirist who takes no prisoners. The shackles of the past have been de ...more
Paperback, 62 pages
Published January 12th 1994 by Grove Press (first published 1987)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 557)
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Bridget
Jan 02, 2016 Bridget rated it really liked it
Overall, this play is quite good. I enjoyed all the metaphors in the play. A few of the parts in the play were a little confusing, but I have a feeling that the more I let them sit and think about it, the more I will understand them. New ideas will most likely come as I am able to think about the play. These are good things.

Reading the play, though, it seems like mounting the play would be a legal nightmare because of all the songs used in it! The songs are used - they are no parodies, so that w
...more
Rashaun
Jun 06, 2013 Rashaun rated it really liked it
The Colored Museum is a series of scenes that depict different characters in each scene as if it were an exhibit to demonstrate what it means to be African American in the United States from slavery until the 1980’s. George C. Wolfe takes the functions of literature to add depth to particular stories in the past giving the reader a new perspective to understanding history.
Shawna
What a fantastic play! It was hysterical, but it also brought to mind some very important issues in African-American history and theatre, as well as American theatre in itself.
Bradley
Aug 04, 2009 Bradley rated it really liked it
THERE'S MADNESS IN ME AND THAT MADNESS SETS ME FREE.
Victoria
Jul 02, 2010 Victoria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Black satire at its best. Genius!
Wendy
Feb 11, 2016 Wendy added it
Drama 120: Heritage of Dramatic Literature - A hilarious play that can only be fully experienced and understood by viewing it, not reading the text. A play divided into sections that examines racism using comedy. "Last Mama on the Couch" is even a parody of A Raisin in the Sun.
Vivi
Jul 03, 2016 Vivi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays-musicals
Never did I think I'd enjoy reading a play. I just never liked the format; I preferred traditional novels because they were fleshy and more detailed, but The Colored Museum uses the play format so well. It's a phenomenal story around race and it's so clever.
Janaya
Apr 07, 2015 Janaya rated it it was amazing
This addressed some pivotal issue in the Black community specifically, and America as a whole in relation to black culture. One of my favorites from my African American theatre class.
Rachel Linn
Apr 10, 2014 Rachel Linn added it
Shelves: theatre
"Before exiting, check the overhead as any baggage you don't claim, we trash." What a genius last line.
Maya
Jan 15, 2015 Maya rated it it was amazing
Fantastic. This play was so daring and it's surprising to see how necessary it still is.
Christi
Jan 22, 2016 Christi rated it really liked it
The scenes in The Colored Museum illuminate the continuing issues found in social identities like race. I enjoyed it so much and hope one day to see the play!
Hannah
May 05, 2015 Hannah rated it really liked it
Totally sharp, biting, and tight. This script is sadly as relevant today as it was when it was first performed. The variety of settings and characters adds a lot of depth and nuance to the show, but they are all tied together, and they present a complex, contradictory, and challenging look at black identity.
Anathi
Mar 24, 2015 Anathi rated it really liked it
lovely
Craig
Nov 17, 2013 Craig rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays
Provocative, exciting, hilarious...had me thinking how I'd stage it as I read it because it grabbed my imagination and had it running away the whole time I was reading. I was also struck by the Miss Roj section, as it features a black drag queen, reading and snapping away in an evocation of the east coast drag scene, a la "Paris is Burning."
Karli
Mar 15, 2008 Karli rated it liked it
Clever and smart humor. This play captures blackness on display and under restraint. "It's not everyday a bunch of babies break outta a white egg and start to live."
Jeffrey W.
Nov 15, 2012 Jeffrey W. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely recommended to fans of Ishmael Reed's work.
Jenni
Jul 28, 2008 Jenni rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-fiction, plays
Oh memories...of my favorite BTE play.
Robert-anthony Artlet
May 12, 2013 Robert-anthony Artlet rated it it was amazing
AMAZING a must read play :)
Kayce
Kayce rated it it was amazing
Aug 09, 2016
Carly Psenicka
Carly Psenicka rated it really liked it
Aug 05, 2016
Alexis
Alexis added it
Aug 22, 2016
Denise
Denise marked it as to-read
Jul 31, 2016
Samantha Stafford
Samantha Stafford marked it as to-read
Jul 30, 2016
Jv
Jv marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2016
Kristan Brown
Kristan Brown rated it liked it
Jul 27, 2016
Ashia
Ashia marked it as to-read
Jul 15, 2016
Lissa Deonarain
Lissa Deonarain marked it as to-read
Jul 12, 2016
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Jul 08, 2016
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Jul 06, 2016
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“c. “So, hunny, don’t waste your time trying to label or define me…’cause I’m not what I was ten years ago or ten minutes ago. I’m all of that and then some. And whereas I can’t live inside yesterday’s pain, I can’t live without it.” 2 likes
“King Kong would have made it to the top if only he had taken the elevator.” 0 likes
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