Something Rotten at The Fabulous Fox in St. Louis is a entertaining masterpiece that does cause the average black girl to go, "Huh....?" at bits that seem to be missing the mark. It will be closing at The Fox this Sunday which is a bit saddening. If you haven't seen it yet. Get yourself to a theatre near you and check it out. That is... If you like theatre, musicals, slightly whitewashed plays. Oh yeah. I'm going there.
I work at The Fox so for weeks, months sometimes I'm staring at advertisments from different shows that will be coming to the Fox or other venues around the St. Louis and St. Charles area. That said the posters of the "Something Rotten" cast had only two smiling black faces and no other minority in sight I knew there was a statement there. However, I hadn't seen or read "Something Rotten" at the time so all I was left to do was speculate. Were their bulging crotches of pants a symbol of male ego done by the costume director? Was the black girl holding buckets a deliberate message? Was the black guy with the jazz hands a minstrel reference? Am I overreacting or naw?
Needless to say I was excited as the lights came up for the show to figure it all out. Not judgmental in any form or fashion, just curious if this professional company thought it through so I, as a viewer, got the intended interpretation. Guess what? I was right. They did their jobs. I could kick back my feet and feel like all is right in the world.
Buuuuuut. (Possible spoiler alert) I don't know if I like the comments the show was making about society, about America. Was it supposed to be funny? The servant black girl? The crazy black girl? The minstrel black guy? The jiving black guy? And a lot of jokes were being made. Jewish jokes, musical jokes, and more... Yet if I look at Broadway musicals. Your Hamilton's are few and far between. Your diverse, particularly black musicals are missing these days. They come along every once in a blue moon. Can we stop playing these roles ever? Or have they become a part of traditional theatre? Look mom, there's those black folks in they role again. Just like we like them. In their place.
Overall, I loved the musical. There's just something that makes me squirm in my seat about how black people are portrayed that everyone (even other minorities) accept as funny. It's not funny. I don't want to laugh at my history. I want to change the future.
On the other side, it was a extremely polished and well performed performance. Adam Pascal was in it as Shakespeare! If you don't know, he played Roger in Rent. My love for theatre is ever evolving. That's why I'm in dance classes now. "Cause I see you Broadway and I'm coming for you!"- Me.
Go see "Something Rotten" for yourself though. Share with me your thoughts on theatre, the portrayal of black people in theatre, or your observations.
Jump Rope Sis
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