Friday, July 20, 2007

Guess What's Coming To Broadway? A Relic.

Guess What's Coming To Broadway? A Relic.

It was with a huge yawn that I greeted word earlier this week that Kenny Leon -- August Wilson's de facto director -- would be helming a new "Broadway-aimed" production of Guess Who's Coming To Dinner.

Based on the 1967 Academy Award-winning film, Wilson dramaturg Todd Kreidler is retooling the movie script for the stage.

If you're unfamiliar with the silver screen incarnation that starred Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn and Sidney Poitier, it's about young white woman who brings her African-American boyfriend home to meet her supposedly liberal-minded parents. While cutting-edge back in the heavily conflicted sixties, I'd like to know what the big deal is today.

Consider my own personal family tree, which stretches coast to coast with practically all points in between, including north and south. It may be primarily white, but it's grown richer by encompassing all shades and hues with ancestral origins that circle the globe from Asia to Africa to Latin America. While I'm sure my nearly 96 year old Gramps (who's originally from Indiana, but now based in Arkansas) never envisioned he'd have Asian-American in-laws, or Mexican-American great-grandchildren, or African-American great-great grandchildren, he sets the tone for all of us by loving each of us equally.

The tapestry of our family is quite a wonder to behold, yet I doubt that this is unique in 21st Century America.

So again, I ask, what's the big deal? Where's the relevance in bringing this old chestnut to Broadway?

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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