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West Side Story Uk Tour Cast Announced


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#1 Titan

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 02:40 PM

Katie Hall as Maria
Louis Maskell as Tony
Djalenga Scott as Anita
Jack Wilcox as Riff

#2 CathyFromLex

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 03:00 PM

A major production in the US would take heavy flack for not casting a Latina as Maria.  I'm sure Katie will sing the role beautifully, but just saying.

#3 Cactus

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 05:45 PM

View PostCathyFromLex, on 29 June 2013 - 03:00 PM, said:

A major production in the US would take heavy flack for not casting a Latina as Maria.  I'm sure Katie will sing the role beautifully, but just saying.
Agreed. I was quite shocked when I heard, it's such an iconic part and shouldn't be whitewashed.

#4 Titan

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 05:52 PM

i dont think its as big a deal in the uk as latino actresses are in far shorter supply.

while race is a small factor in the show it isnt really about race, its the gang warfare and the show loses none of its power

the late 90s uk tour and west end transfer had katie knight adams as maria and anna jane casey as anita

im just glad the leads are a vast improvement on the last tour

#5 Cactus

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 06:03 PM

View PostTitan, on 29 June 2013 - 05:52 PM, said:

i dont think its as big a deal in the uk as latino actresses are in far shorter supply.

while race is a small factor in the show it isnt really about race, its the gang warfare and the show loses none of its power

the late 90s uk tour and west end transfer had katie knight adams as maria and anna jane casey as anita

im just glad the leads are a vast improvement on the last tour
The Sharks are Puerto Rican and that actually does matter a lot - when they sing 'one look at us and they judge twice' that's one of the many foundations for their desperate situation and the gang warfare that results from it. While it's true that there are a lot less Hispanic or Latino performers in the UK than in the US, Maria, Anita and the others are iconic roles. There are many, many parts for young white sopranos and this simply isn't one of them. The fact that they did it in the 90s doesn't mean they should continue it.

#6 ajkb7926

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 06:35 PM

So glad to see Jack Wilcox keeps getting work. I've been following his career since I saw him in Wicked.

I dont have an issue with the white casting if they were the best on offer. The show is so iconic and people are aware of the racial issues and plus the show works on different levels so wouldnt be too hard for people to follow if they didnt know about the race story of the original.

#7 Titan

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 06:42 PM

its not ideal i agree but its hardly the first time its happened. alexandra silber is playing maria in san francisco at the moment

trying to find a latino soprano isnt easy. id rather have the best person for the role, especially after the last tour

#8 Cactus

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 06:49 PM

The 'best person for the role' argument is sadly quite problematic considering many performers don't get work because of their race even though they may have been the best person for the part (when race does not matter but is often perceived and cast as 'white' by default). White actors and actresses are privileged because there already are countless parts for them in theatre and musical theatre. If you are staging a production of WSS where race does matter and is an issue within the show then it should be respected in casting. It's not about 'the race story of the original', it's about giving parts that are written for actors of a certain ethnicity to those actors.

#9 Orchestrator

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 07:48 PM

Not a staged production but a US one with a non-Latin Maria:

http://broadwayworld...oncert-20130628
Ooh, that Bernadette Shaw - what a chatterbox!

#10 Titan

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 07:58 PM

surprised this is suddenly such an issue considering its common place. on one hand you agree that latino sopranos are rare in the uk, then you say they should still cast a latino anyway. so what, if they couldnt find someone good enough the show doesnt go ahead?

also i would never say wss is a story about race, not in the same way  hairspray, porgy and bess etc are. its, like most gangs, a turf war. race is a secondary issue that is mentioned but less prominant




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