Wednesday, November 19, 2014

ALOTT5MA CULTURAL SENSITIVITY DESK, TIMES HAVE CHANGED EDITION:  I went with the girls and my dad last weekend to see a regional production of Anything Goes (still here this weekend), and while it had many charms—including local newscaster Rick Williams hamming it up as Moonface Martin, and the sheer joy of having every tap dance in a ten-mile radius rounded up for the title number—the Chinese passengers from Cole Porter's original remain horrific ethnic cartoons, really cringe-worthy stereotypes from a bygone era which ought to remain gone.

The problem, of course, being that these characters (and having the male leads pose as them) are integral to how the last-act mechanics of the farce play out, so they can't be removed entirely, and the beloved 2011 Sutton Foster revival didn't fix it.

I don't have an answer to this; has anyone seen a satisfactory dramaturgical solution?  Or should we just appreciate the great parts, and try to ignore (and explain to our kids) the rest? [Related: Groff!]

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