• The Muny: Yellowface 06/17/2018  1:09pm

    Is 2018!!!!! Why in the world do they have a white woman singing Tuptim with broken English in Jerome Robbins Broadway??
    Boooooo The Muny!

    bit.ly

    Mimimarquez

    There’s videos of her singing with an asian broken English accent. Totally unacceptable. What where they thinking? Who did the casting?

    CalltheBitchOut 06/17/2018  3:39pm

    Playing devils advocate not trying to ruffle feathers just seeing the other side of things... The original production didn't seem to have backlash. It is a medley of shows so you have people of all kinds playing against their type. Also we put on accents all the time in theater. That is our job to play someone we are not.

    starbucks 06/17/2018  4:52pm

    ^^^ummmm.... it's 2018 not 1951....

    Fizzy14 06/17/2018  5:15pm

    aiiite starbucks, time for another diversity training day

    chhhhhe 06/17/2018  5:46pm

    ETHNICITY IS NOT TYPE.

    And * if * it IS, then cast an Asian actor who will also go against HER type in the other part of the medley....

    Rain On my Parade 06/17/2018  6:49pm

    A white actor doing an Asian accent in 2018 is beyond offensive.

    The Muny released and apology :

    muny.org

    Muny Addresses Jerome Robbins’ Feedback
    ST. LOUIS (June 17, 2018) – In our production of Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, The Muny endeavored to stay true to the original staging of its original Broadway production, a show that was created and intended to celebrate and re-create some of the most iconic dances in musical theatre history. In that pursuit, moments in the production have caused hurt and offense – a disappointing and unintended result for which we have great regret. While audiences evolve, all of us who proudly steward this art to our communities face the same challenge. That at times the events, the stories, the ideas which create the narrative of our productions represent frozen moments in time that are at odds with what we now understand. In retrospect, greater contextual explanation and scrutiny are valuable tools which could have been better employed for our production.

    The reality of this particular production is that it also presents a challenge that has never been faced since its original 1989 Broadway staging. Essentially starring every lead character from 11 of Robbins’ greatest choreographic successes, the production is a huge challenge to cast from many perspectives. Gifted with a director who was part of the original production, The Muny’s creative team assembled a diverse, talented cast to bring life to this production. Although the decision to include a non-Asian performer as one of three leads in The King and I scene of Jerome Robbins’ Broadway was a function of casting realities for a show of large scale, in hindsight, that was a bad decision that has caused hurt. Again, the hurt that this has caused was unintended and the conversation it has yielded is incredibly valuable for our institution and for the industry of musical theatre.

    We do hope that those who have felt harm have also felt heard. We ask that your reaction be measured in that the performers in this show find themselves in an unfortunate and uncomfortable position, but they are not ultimately at fault. As artists and as human beings, they deserve respect and support. We ask that for all our companies, as we close this production and prepare to open The Wiz this week. Tremendous work and passion have gone into each of our productions for this centennial season, and we are proud of and thankful to all the artisans who are a part of that process.

    As an institution, we own the responsibility of what happens on our stage for better or for worse. We will continue to welcome the lessons and the feedback that result from moments like this and apply them in a meaningful way as we move forward. Our commitment, belief and dedication to inclusive and diverse casting, as well as honest examination of imagery and ideas in our productions, is real and passionate. Representation matters to The Muny.

    Sincerely,
    The Muny

    CalltheBitchOut 06/17/2018  8:08pm

    ^^^ Ew. This apology is bullshit. [paraphrased] "We wanted to stay true to the original design of the show" ... "Representing all of the original Jerome Robbins leads" ... "Unique casting challenge" ...

    BULLSHIT BULLSHIT BULLSHIT

    If you're going to have scenes involving a specific race, then fucking find an actor of that race. Don't fucking tell me that there is not a single Asian female actress in NYC (or anywhere) who can sing both Tuptim and ANY other lead in this show. BULLSHIT.

    AND IF THERE ISN'T, because regional houses can be fucking idiotic and probably would demand ONLY Ashley Park (because, duh, she's the only Asian actress in the market and *oh darn* she's on Broadway *shrug*) PICK A DIFFERENT SHOW.

    SHAME. And, if I'm remembering correctly, this isn't the first time The Muny has been in hot shit over completely OFFENSIVE casting. Am I correct? I honestly don't quite remember.

    AFTC 06/17/2018  8:23pm

    WHO CARES!?

    In this day and age, seeing a pasty cracker put on a sucky-sucky is probably the most entertaining display of talent you will see in the theater.

    Yellowface is nowhere near as offensive as blackface. Western culture has not historically subjugated Eastern culture to their colonial whims the same way European lily-crackers scrambled for Africa, the Americas, etc. China is like, the oldest empire in the world. Give me a break! (Soy Mexicano)

    Sure, some railroad workers had it pretty bad. But hey, at least they got the big floppy hats. Can't say the same for the slaves.

    But China is on their way to becoming the next global power, and one of the main reasons behind this paradigm shift is an autonomous value system that doesn't derive from victimization or reflection of the West. The Chinese are some of the most racist motherfuckers on the planet. They edited John Boyega off the Star Wars cover.

    I don't know...I wouldn't go picking on Southeast Asia anytime soon, but as far as I'm concerned, Japan, China and Korea are fair game.

    Did the honky at the MUNY wear a surgical mask too? Now THAT would be offensive...

    elmanager 06/18/2018  7:54am

    The character is from Myanmar

    SteveRogers. 06/18/2018  8:37am

    Oh. Point taken. That's tacky.

    elmanager 06/18/2018  8:44am

    ^Irony died today at the age of 250,000. Obituary will be posted on the callboard.

    SteveRogers. 06/18/2018  10:04am

    This site always lives up to it's name. If we weren't slagging off something or slandering we might have to get jobs. WHAT!

    Sameold sameold 06/18/2018  10:22am

    yikes... theres just such an easy solution since there were already people in the cast who could sing it.... was there literally no one in the room who was like "UH THIS COULD BE PROBLEMATIC?????"

    ganymede 06/18/2018  1:05pm

    More confusing, the director apparently is AAPI? www.onstageblog.com

    emuhe 06/18/2018  1:57pm

    Definitely isn’t the first time Muny has done this. Their production of The Little Mermaid had an Asian actor doing a Jamaican accent for Sebastian. I can buy an Asian Sebastian. The accent made it weird and offensive.

    singingstrong 06/19/2018  11:23am

    ^^^^Ok that’s just weird...Sebastian can be played by anyone capable of doing it of course, but he’s also SUPPOSED to be a Jamaican crab...that was Menkens entire idea from day one back nearly 30
    years ago and decided to use Calypso music to accentuate that...that just sounds like a rock and hard place.

    But yellow face...or ANY face, yeah NO

    Showbizdreamer 06/19/2018  12:20pm

    @singingstrong, when did that happen? Because their 2017 production of it had a black Sebastian...

    jesse928 06/19/2018  12:50pm

    There are loads of Asians all over the Caribbean. Jamaica had a very large influx of Chinese people just after the end of Slavery. So.....

    Kadagan 06/21/2018  7:13pm

    1. SteveRogers., go to your room. I'm through with you! :'D
    2. There are Asian Jamaican people. Sean Paul is one of them. His mother is Jamaican-Chinese-English.

    MikeTheLady 06/21/2018  10:34pm