The founder of of Radio and TV One, Cathy Hughes is one of the top Black women in media. So it’s fair to say she’s seen a lot of the of the best of what entertainment and culture has to offer. If she’s taking the time out of her busy schedule to promote something that’s not even on her network, it must be pretty superb. On a new TV One special, Hughes talks to the cast of the Broadway show, “The Trip to Bountiful” for which legendary actress Cicely Tyson won a Tony Award this year. “TV One Takes The Trip to Bountiful with Cathy Hughes” airs on Thursday, July 25 at 8 and 11 p.m.
“My mother used to rave about having seen Paul Robeson on Broadway. I’m raving about seeing Cicely Tyson on Broadway,” Hughes told The Tom Joyner Morning Show. “It is unbelievable that one human being, particularly a human being playing fourth quarter ball in her life could do eight performances a week – the only member of the cast who has missed not one performance. And it’s an animated performance – she sings, she moves, she grabs people.
“She’s in every scene. It’s the most incredible theatrical performance of our time, and it’s been overshadowed by “Motown: The Musical.” Everyone’s going to see Motown, but it’s going to be there. This play was produced by Black folks so they don’t have a long run. That’s the reason I did the special, because not only is [Tyson] great, but Condola Rashad, Phylicia’s daughter, Omigod is this girl good! It’s a once in a lifetime theatrical production and Black folks need to be flocking up there to see it and take some white folks with you.”
Hughes is not an investor in the production, she’s just a fan. “A Trip to Bountiful” was originally a TV movie that became a theatrical release in 1985, winning Geraldine Page a Best Actress Oscar. The Broadway play is a triumph of so-called “color-blind” casting, as the characters were not originally intended to be African-American.
“When it came to me it was in trouble,” Hughes says. “And then Cicely won the Tony for the number one actress on Broadway right now. What a great year for African-Americans on Broadway – four winners this year. You all please go see “The Trip To Bountiful” on Broadway at the Sondheim Theater. It’s there until September.”