Oct 4, 2011

Tuesday on the Links

  • I place no stock in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, but I'll care for it even less if it disses Laura Nyro.
  • Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie in Ohio certainly doesn't look like your average junior high theatre project.
  • I don't recall Diane Paulus or Suzan-Lori Parks even implying that Porgy & Bess is racist, but if debunking that is central to your case against their production, I guess you have to imagine they said so.
  • Cirque du Soleil should just call their next show "Jumping the Shark" (and put actual shark-jumping in it, natch).
  • Yes or no?


Anonymous said...

Parks on "Porgy and Bess" in the New Yorker:

"One could see their depiction of African-American culture as racist, or one could see it as I see it: as a problem of dramaturgy."

Garvey says they "insinuate" the opera is racist.

That looks like an insinuation to me all right.

Rob Weinert-Kendt said...

So disavowing that position is how she insinuated it?

Anonymous said...

Good to know that old trick still fools some folks!

Rob Weinert-Kendt said...

From American Theatre:

Paulus and Parks are facing Porgy's thorny problem of racial stereotyping head-on. Parks talks about the script's flirtations with minstrelsy as a "shortcoming of understanding." As she puts it, "I see what the writers were doing. This was born of love for black people. We're not going to indict them, we're just going to keep working on it." Paulus, who taught a course on Porgy and Bess last semester at Harvard with the renowned cultural historian Marjorie Garber, adds unapologetically, "So we've gone in and just changed some things that are just not acceptable anymore."

What I see here, and in the New Yorker quote, is acknowledgement that there are legitimate concerns about Porgy's treatment of race, coupled with the unambiguous conviction that there was zero racist intent on the part of the show's creators. I don't see how that becomes an "insinuation" that the work is fundamentally racist. They couldn't be clearer that they've heard that critique and don't think it's the case.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, thought you were just drinking the kool-aid, didn't know you were selling it too! Don't wanna ruin anybody's gig!

Rob Weinert-Kendt said...

Thanks for understanding, "Anonymous."