Friday, March 21, 2008

Cat Postscript

So maybe I'm jaded, but even if TVA hadn't done it's "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" production, I feel the all-black cast angle for this play is kind of 'last century.' As I was reading about it, both in the New Yorker and in Entertainment Weekly, I had this wild idea that what would be cool would be to reimagine the play for today. Skew all of the characters a little younger, make Big Daddy (late 40s-early 50s) an Internet millionaire from the 90s, have Brick (late 20s) be a coke head working in the music industry, have Skipper die from complications from meth addiction, and have Maggie be a former diva that Brick signed to his label but who never had a hit. Any playwright out there who wants to follow up on that, have at it. I'd have a go but I've got a few other things on my plate...


Thespis' Little Helper said...

I think it's great that some really incredible actors are getting to sink their teeth into roles that they wouldn't otherwise get to play (and I do acknowledge that the "Great" White Way's reasoning is not that but the selling point of something "unique").

Did we really need another revival of The Glass Menagerie? Of Streetcar (with John C. Reilly horribly cast, at that)? I don't think so.

But a chance for James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashad, and Anika Noni Rose to tackle these roles? Yeah. That's merited. (Even if they did go for a director with a name instead of a real director...but that happens a bit everywhere...wish I were willing to forgive that).

And maybe some young African American kid will see that and be inspired and say "Hey! That's me onstage." Although, I hope not with these characters. But that was a rather slap-in-the-face comment to me about the casting of something in Richmond a while back. It works for me.

I think the production could have (and might have been better served) to have focused on the clout of their cast rather than their ethnicity...and have also gotten a worthy director, but I find it a worthy venture nonetheless.

(Imagine that all that was preceeded by "In my opinion...")

Frank Creasy said...

I saw that Streetcar with John C. Reilly. He sucked. Natasha Richardson as Blanche, and all the supporting cast, were terrific - but without a great Stanley that production just didn't work.

So, no BC, we DON'T need another similar revival.