musical-theater

BAY STREET THEATER CANCELS CONCERT

In a corner of the theater community people were quick to notice something very wrong and concerning about the casting announced for this free one night reading. Recent Tony Award Winner Cynthia Erivo, star of the current Broadway revival “The Color Purple”, tweeted:

“It saddens me that after such a wonderful multicultural season on Broadway a piece set in AFRICA has not one POC. #PrinceOfEgypt“ - @CynthiaEriVo

There wasn’t an overwhelming response from the internet but the Bay Street Theater’s Facebook page was subjected to more traffic than they were use to with 23 “angry” responses outweighing the likes. The majority of the comments were people expressing disappointment and they received a handful of visitor posts echoing the same.

Yesterday the concert was officially cancelled.

Director Scott Schwartz made a statement today, updating the Bay Street Theater’s website and posting to Facebook 3 hours ago. I encourage you to read the full statement, but this is what caught my attention:

“While we have had diverse casts in each and every step of our process so far, we will continue these discussions and consider them fully as we develop specific approaches to casting as we move forward.

But, there were also personal attacks and comments online and in social media against our actors and creative team that were unproductive. This is the specific reason why the creative team and the producers are cancelling the concert and will continue the development of this new musical in private for now.”

This is where the statement goes sour. This is not an apology. This kind of feels like he thinks he’s punishing us somehow. Why is it so important to make sure we know that the reading wasn’t cancelled because they realized their casting practices were offensive, wrong, and irresponsible? At every turn Scott Schwartz takes the opportunity to let us know that we don’t see how proudly diverse they’re being in secret, while saying that this story is for everyone to defend their whitewashed cast. He does not apologize but instead lectures us for pointing out the problem. Any harassment that resulted from this casting announcement is unfortunate. However the criticisms are still very important. Schwartz agrees they’re important but he wants to make sure we know that it wasn’t important enough to cancel the event for these reasons, or heaven forbid he recast. There are no plans for future readings at this time, something else that they made sure to include when asked for a comment by Playbill. It’s not good enough to say never mind, and hide so no one can criticize the glaringly obvious issues. Reschedule? Recast? Have the conversation but then actually act on it. I would die to get this musical made and I literally planned to go to New York on August 13th for this reading, but I want it done right. As someone who has used The Prince of Egypt (despite the problems with the voice cast) as a way to fight back the European imagery Hollywood has used to erase the real picture of Egypt I can’t express how upsetting it is to see them not properly represent this story, especially in theater which is more progressive than film or television.

youtube

(Video not mine; all credits to the creator.)

This deserves to be shared with the whole wide world.

@linmanuel

playbill.com
Broadway Producers Launch On-Demand Streaming of Stage Shows
Two Broadway producers have launched BroadwayHD, an on-demand service that will stream recorded theatre productions as Netflix and Hulu have been doing for broadcast media, according to Variety.

If you haven’t seen this, be EXCITED! Broadway Netflix! 

The theatre community is finally catching up with the way the world works. We’re already seen as pompous and rich because theatre can only appeal to people with the resources and time to get to New York and buy $100+ tickets. 

Now a small town, middle class kid can get to be touched by and fall in with theatre. We don’t need to watch shitty, illegal bootlegs to see great shows! There’s not to many shows up right now, but hopefully producers will realize how smart this is and put more hows up. Support this amazing site! 

BroadwayHD! 

Renamed Musicals
  • • Les Miserables:Breadsticks Meme Gone Wrong ft. The Only Cop in France.
  • • Miss Saigon:Americans Fuck Shit Up, the musical!
  • • Legally Blonde:This is Harvard, not a Stripper Bar.
  • • Wicked:Misunderstood Green Girl and Sparkly Witch Hide Lesbian Feelings
  • • Little Women:That Story Where All the Girls Fall in Love
  • • Book of Mormon:Spooky Mormon Hell and Crude Gay Humor Clash w/ Sparkly Tuxedoes.
  • • Shrek:Don’t Judge a Book By It’s Cover; Another Show About Diversity.
  • • The Last Five Years:How Not to Adult: A Manual
  • • Joseph and the blah, blah, blah:Fifty Shades of Bible Humor
  • • Suessical:Always Trust that Weird Voice you Hear PS Elephants Can’t Fly
  • • Songs for a New World:I’m Sure There’s a Story Here Somewhere…
  • • Thirteen:Puberty Sucks Plus Jewish Jokes and Weird Sexual Tension
  • • Matilda:We’ll Fight Like Twenty Armies and We Won’t Give up ft. Miss Honey’s Self Esteem Issues.
  • • Spring Awakening:Why Sex Ed Matters, the musical!
  • • Next to Normal:The Story of a Sexy Ghost
  • • Avenue Q:Horney Puppets Use the Internet for Porn and Then Build a School For Monsters.
  • • Children of Eden:Bible fanfiction.
  • • The Drowsy Chaperone:Hallucinations of a Man in a Chair
  • • Violet:Sutton Foster and a Sob Story ft. Indecipherable Accents
  • • Anything Goes:Into the Woods, Except on a Ship
  • • How to Succeed:A Dummies Guide to Making an Ass Out of
  • Yourself
  • • Once on this Island:Why Gods Should Not Interfere With Humans
  • • Into the Woods:Fairytale AU on Crack
  • • Fun Home; Gay Tears, the musical!
  • • In the Heights:Everybody has Issues in the Barrio.
  • • Chess:East West Relations Under Different Masks and Various Plots
  • • RENT:Diversity, Death, and Drugs.
  • • Annie:My Life Sucks: By Me.
  • • Sweeny Todd:Revenge Means Killing Everybody
  • • Young Frankenstein:It Runs in the Family.

You can play the Phantom, you can play Ariel, you can play Danny Zuko, you can play Annie, you can play Valjean, you can play Elphaba, but until you play Milky White you ain’t shit in the musical theatre world.