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John Byrne
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Posted: 27 June 2020 at 6:57pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Next they shut down HAMILTON?
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Joseph Greathouse
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Posted: 27 June 2020 at 7:12pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

So here is the basis of a conversation I had with my
former theater professor at Iowa State in regard to
Hamilton. Its not a biography. The second you turn
something into a musical, it automatically moves into
the realm of fantasy. Miranda wanted to tell the story
from a minority perspective, and as soon as you add
singing and dance numbers, any type of historical
accuracy is out the window.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 27 June 2020 at 7:26pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Then what was all that fuss about Jonathan Pryce playing the half-Vietnamese maitre d’ in MISS SAIGON?
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 27 June 2020 at 7:59pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Not about historical accuracy.

The issues with MISS SAIGON included yellowface, see the use of bronzer and prosthetics to make Pryce look Eurasian:


and the idea that there are fewer opportunities for Asian actors on Broadway, which was especially true in the 90s, so offering a role that suited an Asian actor to a white actor seemed wrong.
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Kevin Brown
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Posted: 27 June 2020 at 10:15pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

The second you turn something into a musical, it automatically moves into the realm of fantasy. 

**************************

Bullshit.  1776 had no issue whatsoever is keeping it (somewhat) authentic.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 27 June 2020 at 10:26pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

The second you turn something into a musical, it automatically moves into the realm of fantasy.

**************************

Bullshit.  1776 had no issue whatsoever is keeping it (somewhat) authentic.

——-

However authentic you may feel it was, it was still in the realm of fantasy, unless you are suggesting John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin really did sing about their choices for national bird. 

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Neil Lindholm
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Posted: 27 June 2020 at 10:29pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Under the current rules, even fiction writers are no longer allowed to use characters not in their ethnic group, with condemnation by their peers if they dare do so.


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Petter Myhr Ness
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Posted: 28 June 2020 at 12:49am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Fortunately not an established rule yet, Neil. I was interviewed about this earlier this year because the main character of my books is half-Indian. No controversy involved. Maybe it's different in America. Or maybe I get a pass because I was raised by an Indian man. ;-)
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Neil Lindholm
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Posted: 28 June 2020 at 12:57am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

The sad thing is that it was even brought up in your interview. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 28 June 2020 at 6:06am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

However authentic you may feel [1776] was, it was still in the realm of fantasy, unless you are suggesting John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin really did sing about their choices for national bird.

•••

They also didn’t wear costumes and perform on a sound stage.

Where do we draw the line? Film, theater and television are entirely artificial. “Reality TV” is anything but. Even documentaries show us what the filmmaker wants to show us.

“It’s a musical” is an excuse at least as flimsy as Hollywood’s go-to excuse for its excesses, “a book is not a movie”.

If HAMILTON is all about “diversity”, then why bother with sets and costumes at all? I have seen some splendid productions of Shakespeare in modern dress on bare stages.

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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 28 June 2020 at 10:21am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I see at least one direction that this is going. I'll select animation, since that's the Simpsons' base. We start getting animated series that don't have any black characters, any Indian characters, any female characters, etc. No conflict, no cost for extra voice actors, no worries about exclusion or suppression... just guys (or animals) doing their bits. Oh, maybe a day-actor if you need a female. But if you need an exotic actor... make 'em green or blue.

This does wander back to Hanna-Barbera's 60s cartoons*, but it avoids controversy. However, it also avoids a wide variety of voice actors. But everything is so tense right now, and everyone so ready to be tuchy... it's A solution. The best? Prob'ly not... but it would work.

*Obviously not EVERY cartoon...
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 28 June 2020 at 6:00pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Perhaps because HAMILTON is the story of one America's
Founders, set naturally among other Founders, diversity
casting that retains true-to-the-era sets and costumes is
a way to allow non-white Americans to stake a claim in a
new, vital way to that history?

"I am an American, of Puerto Rican descent, and Alexander
Hamilton is as much my Founder as anybody else's, so when
I see Lin-Manuel Miranda wearing 18th century waistcoat,
breeches, stockings, etc., what I can see is
myself as Hamilton, me in him, and that's
something no other production ever allowed me to feel
before."
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