Thursday, November 19, 2009

Because "Great White Way" Shouldn't Be Taken Literally

Because "Great White Way" Shouldn't Be Taken Literally

Take a good look at the faces to the left.

Each is a considerable talent in his or her own right to be sure. But do you notice anything missing? Or more precisely, anyone missing?

Aside from the background hues behind many of these performers, the only real color I'm seeing is red. It's as if the brains behind took "Great White Way" just a little too literally when coming up with its "30 under 30" list of Broadway's hottest young actors.

Yes, there's a slight Latino nod with Lin-Manuel Miranda, Krysta Rodriguez and David Alvarez. Yet as Broadway & Me points out, where's Daniel Breaker or Jon Michael Hill?

Surely, with shows like Fela!, Finian's Rainbow, Hair, In The Heights, Memphis, Ragtime, Shrek The Musical, Superior Donuts, The Lion King and Wicked among Broadway's current offerings that currently star or feature a wider (not whiter) spectrum of color, could have easily found very deserving candidates to fill out its list of 30 comers.

If only it had bothered to look.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 19 November, 2009, Blogger Dorian said...

Krysta Rodriguez is also Latina, I believe.

But that doesn't undermine your main point--the whitewashing of this list is really seriously problematic. There are more than three talented youth of colour on Broadway, folks! And some of them are even (gasp!) black!

At 19 November, 2009, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...


At 19 November, 2009, Anonymous Andrew said...

Nice post Steve. They missed a bunch of other talented people as well including Brandon Victor Dixon. And you are spot on about Jon Michael hill, we all are fortunate to have 'seen him when'.

At 20 November, 2009, Blogger Vance said...

As great as Jon Michael Hill is, I don't think he (as a publicity entity) nor his play have made a huge splash on Broadway that these things are usually celebrating.

Meanwhile, I didn't realize Daniel Breaker was that young. I don't know why but I assumed he was mid thirties (not cause he's so old looking but cause he's way too awesome and accomplished an actor). So maybe they didn't realize he was under 30 either?

And if we're gonna go there, where's the Asians?

At 20 November, 2009, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Yeah, where ARE the Asians?? You get my point though, right Vance? The 30 under 30 list is pretty white.

At 21 November, 2009, Blogger Esther said...

Honestly, when I went though the list I realized that they were basing their criteria not so much on acting ability but on whether the actor has been on tv shows like Gossip Girl or a runner-up on American Idol.

(Having a nice smile and good teeth help, too.)

But even though the list is a bit silly it does raise a valid issue about opportunities on Broadway for a diverse group of actors.


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