When Hell Freezes Over, I'll Skate

Vinnette Carroll's lively, spirit-lifting musical, celebrates the sheer joy - and survival - of Black music, song and poetry since the days of America's Civil War. With utter grace and ease, the gifted eight-member singing ensemble glides from gospel to disco and from slave quarter sermons to contemporary black poetry. During the course of the energetic production the cast pokes fun at many contemporary preoccupations, among them dieting and dating. In the more tender moments, much is revealed: an actress shares the frustrations of a black woman longing to be recognized for herself and not simply for her "blackness"; while another actress sings the lively, yet poignant "Elegy For A Lady, " dedicated to Billie Holiday.

"This is celebration, pure and not quite as simple as it looks." - The New York Times

1970, 60 minutes, Color

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