Monday, January 28, 2019
MOONLIGHT Leads to Broadway
He is young, gifted and black. He is one of the new talents to keep your eye on and support nowadays. Tarell Alvin McCraney won an Oscar for co-writing the screenplay to MOONLIGHT, Oscar winner for Best Picture of 2016.
I relocated to New York City for work in 1985. Just a couple of years ago, I asked my friend Keith Price (a theatre correspondent and podcaster) about gay black male images on Broadway. Let's face it. A main purpose of Broadway plays with gay lead characters is to inspire audiences to embrace diversity and inclusion while telling a story about gay lives. Ever since 1985, I noticed that all those plays asking for gay acceptance and equality had mostly white men in them. Rarely did I see a black character. When we did appear, it was never as an upright lead character. We were supporting players to white characters. And we didn't have upscale professions like lawyer, architect, theatre producer, classical musician and such. I noticed this is plays I saw. LOVE! VALOUR! COMPASSION! … white guys in a summer home. TORCH SONG TRILOGY -- black drag queen supporting player. THE LISBON TRAVIATA...MARCH OF THE FALSETTOS...FIFTH OF JULY...THE NORMAL HEART...white guys. ANGELS IN AMERICA -- black supporting player. CHOIR BOY is different. We are up front and center in representation.
It's something original for Broadway. The gay black male is the lead character -- and he's not in a dress in a production from a white playwright. A gay African-American dramatist gave us this play. Thank you, Tarell Alvin McCraney. I pray I'm able to see it during its extended run. For more information, go here:
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