70s Purlie Musical LA Debut Aquarius Theater t-shirt Medium
Chest 19.5 in.
Length 26.5 in.
Content: 100% Cotton
Tag Brand: Ched
This amazing vintage find is from the Los Angeles production of the musical Purlie which premiered back in the 1970s. This shirt is from the Aquarius Theater, now known as the Earl Carroll Theatre, along Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, and it commemorates the musical's west coast debut. Purlie was based off of the play Purlie Victorious, written by Ossie Davis, a notable African American actor, director, and writer who manged to find success in Hollywood despite the many roadblocks facing black artists in the mid 20th century.
Purlie was set during a period when Jim Crow laws were still enforced in the southern US, and its story centered on a traveling preacher and his attempts to emancipate a group of cotton pickers from their oppressive employer. Davis didn't actually have much of a hand in developing the musical, but so much of his original script was used, that he's still given a writing credit for the show. Purlie made its Broadway debut in 1970, with Cleavon Little, best known for his role as Sheriff Bart in Blazing Saddles, starring in the title role.
The LA production, didn't debut until several years later, with playbills from the show dating back to 1975. This production of the show starred the Tony Award-nominated stage actor Robert Guillaume, who would later come to be known for his film and television roles, including Benson DuBois from Soap and the voice of Rafiki in Disney's The Lion King. Starring opposite Guillaume was recording artist Patti Jo, who also appeared in the Broadway production.
Fits like a modern unisex adult medium. There are small spots, see pics.