On Privilege, Casting, and Loss

Gentle readers,

About a month ago, I wrote a post that was mostly about Michelle Rodriguez kind of putting her foot in her mouth while talking about race and superhero films. It was of the most forgivable sort; she was walking to her car when someone stuck a microphone in her face and she said something off the cuff that had the veneer of being reasonable. She even went back and explained, in a mature fashion, what she meant after being met with backlash. I still think she was wrong. Change the gender, race, ability, and sexuality of white, male, straight, cis, and abled characters. Do it often, and be bold about it, because there’s nothing to lose, and there is only inclusion to gain.

The subject of “loss” brings me closer to my actual point: a significant proportion of white male rage over changing the gender and race of superheroes can be connected to a sense of loss. I’ve previously emphasized that it represents a fear of “loss of cultural property”, but I’d like to broaden my point for a second before returning to it. This fear is a microcosm of the larger fear of loss of those who occupy a dominant position in our society.

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Nicole Scherzinger needs to be in the next TV musical.

Sorry for the super blunt title, but I see no need to pussyfoot around the issue.

With last night’s live performance of The Sound of Music starring Carrie Underwood and inspired by Broadway.com’s article casting pop stars in other Rogers & Hammerstein shows, I started thinking about pop stars I’d like to see in the next TV musical (if they become a thing, and I hope they do). It wasn’t long before the obvious answer came to me:  former Pussycat Doll, Nicole Scherzinger.

Nicole Scherzinger 2Now, if you’re not familiar with Nicole, you may find this notion a bit surprising, but she’s actually quite the obvious choice if you look at some of her performances in the last few years.

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Theatre Thursdays: The Show Must Go On…

Ricky Martin…unless your high-profile celebrity cast member is leaving. Then the show apparently can’t go on. Nope, not at all, not even possibly. At least this is what I seem to be hearing from the announcement that Broadway’s Evita revival will be closing when Ricky Martin, Elena Roger, and Michael Cerveris leave the show.

Despite earlier claims that the show would re-cast and continue on with new leads when its opening cast departed (you know, like ANY OTHER open-ended production) Evita‘s producers have decided that the show simply can’t be done with anyone else in the leads. According to producer Hal Luftig:

“Our extensive search for a new cast presented the significant challenges of not only replacing a high-caliber trio of stars but also synchronizing the schedules of potential replacements with that of the production,” said Mr. Luftig. “Despite going down the road with a variety of artists, the planets have simply not aligned for us to engage the right talent at the right time. Therefore, we have made the decision to end this incredible journey on a high note on January 26 with our original stars intact.”

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Theatre Thursdays: Do You Hear the Trailer Sing?!

Brace yourselves, mesdames et monsieurs, citoyens et citoyennes, gamins et gamines:

I have a really visceral response to anything about this movie. The first time I saw this trailer a few days ago, I may have cried a little, I was so overwhelmed. My exact response was “I WORDS AND HEAD EXPLODING”, which I think accurately sums up my feelings in the most coherent way possible.

The more level-headed Fiyero3305 has pointed out to me some issues with this movie, such as the fact that there are no French actors in an adaptation of a classic French novel and that the casting itself sort of just happened without much auditioning or anything, but I am just so happy that Taylor Swift isn’t Eponine that I am looking past that for now.

And this trailer in and of itself: I’m so happy that they chose to make Fantine the central feature of it, with her song tying together the myriad snippets of character introductions. I’m happy about the barricade and the way they managed to introduce most of the named characters in the trailer without it seeming crowded (Les Mis is a very crowded musical). I’m loving the scenery and the costumes and the—well, pretty much everything. Any thoughts on this from the peanut gallery?