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West Side Story Uk Tour Cast Announced


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#31 Titan

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 10:26 AM

Yeah I dont get the sudden outrage either, as I said earlier Maria is a role that has been played by non South American actresses since the show first opened.  This is nothing new

#32 jaqs

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 10:40 AM

I'm not wanting roles to only be cast for people who come from a particular country, that eliminates most actors from most jobs.

But it isnt too much to ask to have someone play the role who ethnically could be from that country at that time and key in this role is looking and sounding like someone who would have faced prejudice because of their looks and accent.

#33 sam22

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 11:31 AM

I don't think it matters that previous casts have been all white etc, I think the main thing people are saying is that as there are arguably much fewer roles for non-white performers so it is a shame for a white cast to fill roles such as those in West Side Story. I agree it isn't always necessarily possible, like recently when I asked why Kim was being cast in the Philippines and not Vietnam and someone explained that they had tried there previously and not found people with suitable musical theatre voice, but still they have gone for a South East Asian Kim rather than a white actress.

I do think in many ways race is quite an important part of West Side Story so I don't see why people are so suprised the casting choices are being discussed. You wouldn't see a white cast in certain roles in Dreamgirls, Scottsboro Boys or Hairspray so why not at least try and find a Latino/Puerto Rican/Spanish actress for the role to give it some type of authenticity. I do think it is more to do with ethnicity rather than nationality

#34 Titan

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 11:33 AM

Those shows are far more about race than WSS.  WSS is about gang turf war, that happen to be PR, its a secondary to the main theme.

#35 sam22

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 11:39 AM

Yeah I suppose race is more of a central theme in those shows, but I do still think there is quite a compelling argument for PR/latino cast.

But I suppose it could go too far e.g. only South Americans playing Evita - though funnily enough Elena Rogers is my favourite Evita for how authentic her singing is, though my friend really didn't like her so I suppose like everything else on this board, different strokes for different folks!

#36 Cactus

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 11:41 AM

View PostTitan, on 01 July 2013 - 11:33 AM, said:

Those shows are far more about race than WSS.  WSS is about gang turf war, that happen to be PR, its a secondary to the main theme.
But the fact that the Sharks aren't white (Americans) and that their ethnicity is different from that of the Jets does matter and is addressed in the script lots of times. It isn't just about race but race does play into it rather heavily - they don't just happen to be Puerto Rican, it is one of the main foundations for the gang war and it is part of their identity.

#37 sahunt

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 11:41 AM

I'm also willing to bet (and this doesn't go for anbody in particular, just a general comment as noticed on this forum) that if it was an unknown puerto rican girl there would be people going who? so and so could sing that better etc. The beauty of theatre is everybody has an opinion. I, for one, am looking forward to the production regardless of cast because I like the music.
There have been good examples of 'ideal casting' for example Evita in the west end recently, pretty sure that on thekenwright tour there were no complaints about Rachel Wooding playing the lead...

#38 sam22

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 11:43 AM

I actually didn't like Rachel Wooding as Evita very much but that had nothing to do with her ethnicity!

#39 sam22

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 11:44 AM

One of my friends maintains that everyone in Les Mis should have French accents....can you imagine!!!!

#40 Cactus

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 11:48 AM

View Postsahunt, on 01 July 2013 - 11:41 AM, said:

There have been good examples of 'ideal casting' for example Evita in the west end recently, pretty sure that on thekenwright tour there were no complaints about Rachel Wooding playing the lead...
Considering Eva Perón's heritage is French I'd consider that to be a slightly different issue anyway.

edit: And the Les Mis argument is an unrelated issue that has never made sense to me - the characters are speaking in their native language and their thoughts and spoken word are fluently transferred to the equivalent in any other language, respectively.




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