New Broadway musical “Suffs” shines a spotlight on the women’s suffrage movement

New Broadway musical “Suffs” shines a spotlight on the women’s suffrage movement

NEW YORK — To mark the first day of Women’s History Month, we take a look at the suffrage movement and winning the vote for women.

New York City was a headquarters for many of the icons who made it happen, and CBS New York’s Dave Carlin shows us a new Broadway show and museum exhibits telling the suffragist story.

Marching onto a Broadway stage is the cast of the musical “Suffs,” turning the clock back a century to celebrate brave women who changed a nation.  

Nikki M. James plays suffragist, journalist, educator and civil rights leader Ida B. Wells. She said it’s an honor to play the icon.

“Using your legal system, using your right to protest, using your voice, using her access to journalism and getting the story out,” James said.

“Suffs” puts spotlights on Wells and other suffragists who fought for the 19th Amendment, ratified in 1920, giving women the right to vote.

Activist Alice Paul is played by Shaina Taub, who also wrote the musical’s book, music and lyrics. She sees this show as a gift to upcoming generations.

“So my biggest dream for ‘Suffs’ is that hopefully our visibility here in New York can give it the future of where a new generation of girls will grow up playing Alice and Lucy and Ida and Inez in their school show,” she said.

There are places in New York City where you can take a deeper dive into the history of the suffragist movement.

Sarah Seidman is the Puffin Foundation Curator of Social Activism at the Museum of the City of New York.

“The fight for women’s suffrage in New York is a major story that we’re telling in various ways in several exhibitions here,” she said.

Seidman says they tell the stories of women like Inez Milholland, Carrie Chapman Catt, Alva Belmont and Mabel Lee.

In “Suffs,” Jenn Colella plays Chapman Catt, who was president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association from 1900-1904 and from 1950-1920.

“It coincides with the fact that we’re still fighting for women’s equality,” Colella said.

The women of “Suffs” count on audiences not only looking back, but finding the inspiration to take the push forward for women’s rights.

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