Controversy on Broadway

Controversy on Broadway

Results In Show's Closing
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Today is a sad day for Broadway as Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 closes its doors. The show was supposed to be the next Hamilton, but while tickets for the latter are still impossible to come by and continues to extend its run, the former was forced to close early partly as a result of racial controversy.

Josh Groban, the original Pierre for the Broadway run, had a big enough name to sell a lot of tickets and is one of the main reasons why this broke college student dropped $190 on the closest seat I could get to him. After Groban ended his run mid July, the African-American actor, Okieriete Onaodowan of Hamilton fame, was set to take over. Although a talented performer, Onaodawan had yet to become well-known outside of the Lin-Manuel Miranda-obsessed community, and ticket sales began to dwindle to the point of where the show was under financial duress. Producers thought in order to save the show, a bigger headliner was needed to boost the box office and began searching for another actor.

Producers then reached out to Tony Award winning Mandy Patinkin, famous for his role as Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride, asking him to make his Broadway return as the melancholy Pierre. There was only one issue: due to Patinkin’s Homeland schedule, his three week run was to start August 15th prematurely forcing Onaodowan out of his role. The show immediately received backlash when the Broadway community discovered the abrupt replacement of a black actor with a white actor, and critics took to Twitter to condemn the producer’s actions while devout fans rebutted with tweets of their own to defend their beloved show. Even though Patinkin decided to step down as Pierre, the damage was already done, and The Great Comet was condemned to close early.

Hamilton made headlines casting actors of color as the founding fathers, and The Great Comet attempted to do the same. Having seen the show first-hand back in March, I can attest to the diversity of the cast, despite the primarily white landscape that is nineteenth century Russia. In fact, nearly half of the cast is nonwhite, including many of the principal characters such Denée Benton’s Natasha, Amber Gray’s Hélène, and Nick Choksi’s Dolokhov, and the show actually received the

Extraordinary Excellence in Diversity on Broadway Award from Actors Equity’s National Equal Employment Opportunity Committee. After the initial controversy, the cast even made a one minute video attempting to highlight the cast’s differences while communicating the importance of diversity in art.

Although Onaodowan was treated poorly by the show’s producers, I believe the decision made was a business-oriented instead of racially motivated. In fact, it’s ridiculous to target arguably the most diverse show currently on Broadway when shows like Anastasia, or as I like to call it the other show that took place in Russia, as well as the critical darling Dear Evan Hansen have all-white casts. It’s terrible to treat actors as means of making money, because musical theatre should be about the art and not profit, but at the end of the day, money is what keeps shows going, and sometimes it’s necessary to cast actors who are going to fill seats.

It is unfortunate and ironic that a casting decision made in an attempt to save the show was what led to its sudden and dramatic demise, effectively silencing the voices of many actors of color. I think the real tragedy, however, was the social media witch hunt the show endured as critics were so quick to persecute the show without first understanding the bigger picture. It’s easy to hide behind a Twitter handleand bash The Great Comet without knowing all the thought that went into this decision, especially since 140 characters could not possibly begin to cover the facts. This experimental work was honestly the best theatrical experience I have ever had, but I think that the show had yet to reach the commercial success it was hoping because it departed so far from the theater-going norm. Unfortunately, fans will never know how far this comet could have soared, but they can at least hope for a revival.

Goodbye, my Gypsy lovers. I’m sorry that Broadway was just not ready for you yet.

Cover Image Credit: http://greatcometbroadway.com/

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13 Movies Every Couple Needs To Watch Before They Get Married

Let's be honest, Rachel McAdams is in all the best love stories.

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These 13 movies are the foundation of any long-lasting relationship, and I'm not joking. Each movie will show you something new about your partner, and make you ask each other the hard questions. How many kids do you want and how are you going to raise them? What would happen if you got into a horrible accident? Some are less serious though, like what if you could time travel?

I promise that not every one of these movies is a Nicholas Sparks classic, and I also promise that not every movie has Rachel McAdams in it!

1. "The Time Traveler's Wife"

This movie is both heartbreaking and amazing.

2. "About Time"

Let's be honest, Rachel McAdams is in all the best love stories. It's on Netflix right now, so grab some snacks and turn it on!

3. "Like Crazy"

This infamous Tumblr gif came from "Like Crazy." It's about a couple who goes long distance and build their life together. I used to cry every time I watched it, and I'm no crier! It also has the (now famous) Felicity Jones in it.

4. "The Notebook"

Every girl wants this kind of love.

5. "The Last Song"

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth are literally married now so if that isn't good luck, I don't know what is.

6. "Safe Haven"

You guessed it! This is another Nicholas Sparks classic. This movie has a dark twist as well, which men will love.

7. "Inside Out"

You may be thinking that this one is a bit weird. Well, this movie will help both you and your partner understand each other's emotions better.

8. "The Choice"

This movie is great because the female lead is feisty and extremely intelligent, which usually doesn't happen in love stories. How do you keep the love alive with a woman who is hard to get, and even harder to keep entertained?

9. "The Longest Ride"

Originally I could not stand the main female lead (Britt Robertson) but now she is in one of my favorite shows (For The People), so I have no choice. This movie had me on the end of my seat, and as a rom-com it is a must.

10. "The Age Of Adaline"

I began loving the name 'Adaline' thanks to this movie. This unlikely love story and self love journey really gets me.

11. "The Vow"

Imagine falling in love with someone and building a life, but an accident forces you to start all over?

12. "Titanic"

If they don't have any sort of reaction to this movie, they are probably not the one for you.

13. "Yours, Mine, & Ours"

Yours, Mine, & Ours is a true classic. Are you Helen or Frank Beardsley? You should figure that out before you tie the knot!

You're welcome!

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15 Thing Only Early 2000's Kids Will Understand

"Get connected for free, with education connection"

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This is it early 2000's babies, a compilation finally made for you. This list is loaded with things that will make you swoon with nostalgia.

1. Not being accepted by the late 90's kids.

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Contrary to what one may think, late 90's and early 00's kids had the same childhood, but whenever a 00's kid says they remember something on an "only 90's kids will understand" post they are ridiculed.

2. Fortune tellers.

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Every day in elementary school you would whip one of these bad boys out of your desk, and proceed to tell all of your classmates what lifestyle they were going to live and who they were going to marry.

3.Bunnicula

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You could never read this book past 8 o'clock at night out of fear that your beloved pet rabbit would come after you.

4. Silly bands.

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You vividly remember begging your parents to buy you $10 worth of cheap rubber bands that vaguely resembles the shape of an everyday object.

5. Parachutes.

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The joy and excitement that washed over you whenever you saw the gym teacher pull out the huge rainbow parachute. The adrenaline that pumped through your veins whenever your gym teacher tells you the pull the chute under you and sit to make a huge "fort".

6. Putty Erasers

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You always bought one whenever there was a school store.

7. iPod shuffle.

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The smallest, least technological iPpd apple has made, made you the coolest kid at the bus stop.

8. "Education Connection"

You knew EVERY wood to the "Education Connection" commercials. Every. Single.Word.

9. " The Naked Brothers Band"

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The "Naked Brothers Band" had a short run on Nickelodeon and wrote some absolute bangers including, "Crazy Car' and "I Don't Wanna Go To School"

10. Dance Dance Revolution

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This one video game caused so many sibling, friend, and parent rivalries. This is also where you learned all of your super sick dance moves.

11. Tamagotchi

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Going to school with fear of your Tamagotchi dying while you were away was your biggest worry.

12. Gym Scooters

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You, or somebody you know most likely broke or jammed their finger on one of these bad boys, but it was worth it.

13. Scholastic book fairs

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Begging your parents for money to buy a new book, and then actually spending it on pens, pencils, erasers, and posters.

14.Go-Gurt

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Who knew that putting yogurt in a plastic tube made it taste so much better?

15. Slap Bracelets

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Your school probably banned these for being "too dangerous".

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