A woman who can't get a cab. A woman who abdicates responsibility for her lover's happiness. A woman who watches as her baby is dropped out of a high-rise window. You'll meet these and many more characters in Ntozake Shange's choreopoem For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. An unflinching look at the lives of black women, the play was first performed in a lesbian bar in 1975, before eventually making its way to Broadway, where it won an Obie Award for the one-time Houstonian Shange. This weekend MJS Productions, led by Me-Tari J. Simon, mounts the lyrical, humorous and sometimes brutal play. Simon not only produces, she plays the Lady in Red (none of the characters have names; they're listed in the credits according to the color of their dress). There are several hard-hitting emotional body blows in For Colored Girls..., but Shange ends with the life-affirming mantra, "I found God in myself / and I loved her / I loved her fiercely." 8 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. Barnevelder Theater, 2201 Preston. For information, call 713-529-1819 or visit www.barnevelder.org. $20 to $25.
Sat., Jan. 30, 8 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 31, 3 p.m., 2010