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Beulah Johnson


DRW50

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This seems to be a soap opera/play from the late 70's, which seems to have a black cast. I've heard little about it. Soap Opera Digest, which seems to have been much more willing to break away from format in those years than in later years (some of the stuff in 70's SODs are real eye-openers), has some coverage.

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You can find all kinds of information through Google Books. One of the results says this:

Beulah Johnson (soap opera for the stage, more than 36 full length episodes, 1976/ 81). Subtitled "The World's First Live Continuing Saga in Soap." A series of staged episodes based on the format of the soaps. The continuing story of a colorful beautician...

But that's only a preview of the book, so idk what it goes on to say. This is an interesting concept, though. I would imagine the episodes were broadcast on PBS or something.

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Ugh it's so frustrating when things seem "lost" in this teknamalogikal age. Oy and then annoying little things like people's names spelled differently from one source to the next...

There's no record of the play in the LORTEL archives though I found some of those actors credits. I found a few other actors' resume pages where the show is listed with the Alonzo Players as the rep company name (one actress also had For Richer For Poorer on her resume which I thought was kind of ^_^ ). Alonzo wrote other plays and appeared in some Blaxploitation classics in the early '70s.

"Cecil Alonzo - The Man Who Gave Birth To Beaulah Johnson

4-page interview; 2 candid photos"

http://www.soapoperaworld.com/product_info.php?products_id=1437&keywords=seaforth&hl=1

^^Carl you need to get that. :lol:

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For a *hot* second I thought Marilyn Washington might have been actress Tamu pre-Africanized name change. So I searched Tamu Marilyn Washington and got Tamia Marilyn Washington bka singer Tamia. :lol: Strange coincidence.

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Thank you so much for finding all this, SFK.

The woman on the far right in the first photo reminds me of a cross between Ethel Waters (young) and Rose from 227. The woman in the last photo reminds me of Kim Wayans for some reason.

I wonder if Alonzo or anyone else in this was involved in some of the other projects like Our Street, or the soap Vee mentioned a few months ago.

I would think someone out there connected to the play would probably have the whole story - I like the idea of a play that is different with each performance, yet still accessible to an audience.

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I think it's a very neat concept and I almost immediatelyt thought about that show Vee was talking about. Perhaps we should ask him if he has any info. I read an article about that building on Flatbush where they performed and it's been a mixed use artistic space for many years. I think it's really cool that SOD covered this. One search result even mentioned the synopses in SOD.

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