Printer Friendly - Black Glinda


Black Glinda
Posted by ElphabaGoodman 2018-06-05 21:59:55


Apparently for the first time ever, Wicked has cast an African-American woman as a Glinda. Brittney Johnson (Les Mis, Motown, Beautiful, Sunset Boulevard) will be heading to the Gershwin as ensemble, u/s Glinda. Any thoughts?

Black Glinda
Posted by Sondheimite 2018-06-05 22:05:07


It says a lot about the culture we live in and how far we still have to come (especially in one of the supposively more liberal of the liberal arts) when shows like Wicked and Phantom, which have both run for more than a decade, are just now hiring POC actors in roles that aren't just the ensemble.

It's a step forward but it says a lot about 1). Casting Directors and 2). Production Staffs that this has taken so long and is still so few and far between.  

Black Glinda
Posted by adamgreer 2018-06-05 22:21:08


Sondheimite said: "It says a lot about the culture we live in and how far we still have to come (especially in one of the supposively more liberal of the liberal arts) when shows like Wicked and Phantom, which have both run for more than a decade, are just now hiring POC actors in roles that aren't just the ensemble.

It's a step forward but it says a lot about 1). Casting Directors and 2). Production Staffs that this has taken so long and is still so few and far between.
"

To be fair, Wicked has had numerous POC play Elphaba, as well as Fiyero, the Wizard, and Madame Morrible. They’ve just never (to my knowledge) had a POC play Glinda. But to say they’re “just now hiring POC” for non-ensemble roles is a bit disingenuous. 

Black Glinda
Posted by Sondheimite 2018-06-05 22:22:55


adamgreer said: "Sondheimite said: "It says a lot about the culture we live in and how far we still have to come (especially in one of the supposively more liberal of the liberal arts) when shows like Wicked and Phantom, which have both run for more than a decade, are just now hiring POC actors in roles that aren't just the ensemble.

It's a step forward but it says a lot about 1). Casting Directors and 2). Production Staffs that this has taken so long and is still so few and far between.
"

To be fair, Wicked has had numerousPOC play Elphaba, as well as Fiyero, the Wizard, and Madame Morrible. They’ve just never (to my knowledge) had a POC play Glinda. But to say they’re “just now hiring POC” for non-ensemble roles is a bit disingenuous.
"

You're totally correct, I was being generalizing in my post and I should have made more clarifications!  Thank you for pointing this out!

A better wording of my post would be much simpler and cut a lot of the generalizing fat:

It says a lot when it's 2018 and we still, sadly, have to consider a POC person being hired to play certain roles as news worthy. 

Black Glinda
Posted by adamgreer 2018-06-05 22:25:29


No worries, it’s all good.

To get back to the original post, who is finally leaving- Lindsay Northen or Heather Spore?

Black Glinda
Posted by CATSNYrevival 2018-06-05 22:27:45


I think it's wonderful. I do wonder if it would change the dynamic of their friendship at all since Elphaba is shunned by her classmates (and Glinda) for having green skin. Would a black actress bring subtleties to their developing friendship if she's able to relate on some level? There's nothing in the text that she could play, but there's certainly subtext. I hope I explained that appropriately.

Black Glinda
Posted by Phillytheatreguy10 2018-06-05 23:49:27


Are we sure it’s Brittney Johnson or is it Britney Coleman who was the Betty understudy in Sunset Blvd? She’s terrific! She also was in Hey, Look Me Over at Encores.

Black Glinda
Posted by BroadwayConcierge 2018-06-05 23:52:38


Phillytheatreguy10 said: "Are we sure it’s Brittney Johnson or is it Britney Coleman who was the Betty understudy in Sunset Blvd? She’s terrific! She also was in Hey, Look Me Over at Encores."

It's Brittney Johnson!

Black Glinda
Posted by CedricOates 2018-06-06 00:11:36


I think they won’t make her a blonde wig. It might be black or brown. Like Frozen has done for Aisha, who is the Anna standby, doesn’t have the orange hair that Anna usually has.

Black Glinda
Posted by Oak2 2018-06-06 00:13:45


CedricOates said: "I think they won’t make her a blonde wig. It might be black or brown. Like Frozen has donefor Aisha, who is the Annastandby, doesn’t have the orange hair that Anna usually has."

If they do this, I wonder if they'll change the lyric in "What Is This Feeling" where Elphaba uses the word "Blonde" as a punchline, and if so what they would possibly change it o.

Black Glinda
Posted by CedricOates 2018-06-06 00:16:53


Oak2 said: "CedricOates said: "I think they won’t make her a blonde wig. It might be black or brown. Like Frozen has donefor Aisha, who is the Annastandby, doesn’t have the orange hair that Anna usually has."

If they do this, I wonder if they'll change the lyric in "What Is This Feeling" where Elphaba uses the word "Blonde" as a punchline, and if so what they would possibly change it o.
"

Goooooooood point. Yeah, i think because the show has been locked for years, they’ll make it work with the blonde wig. Maybe if they did change a lyric, they can use “bright” as oxymoron for being ditsy. I’m not so sure they will change a lyric for an understudy. 

Black Glinda
Posted by HeyMrMusic 2018-06-06 00:17:10


“Blonde” also rhymes with “respond.” I’m pretty sure they’re going to give her a blonde wig.

Black Glinda
Posted by broadwayboy223 2018-06-06 00:19:28


Its about time! I hope she gets to go on!!

Black Glinda
Posted by CedricOates 2018-06-06 00:21:19


This is great. Also cannot wait for a POC to take over the role full time!

Black Glinda
Posted by amazingamandakate 2018-06-06 00:30:33


Exciting news! I hope she gets to go on.

I can't imagine that she wouldn't have a blonde wig. Maybe a darker shade of blonde than other actresses, but that line is one of the most memorable in the show.

Black Glinda
Posted by TotallyEffed 2018-06-06 03:38:18


Of course her wig will be blonde.

Black Glinda
Posted by RicardoMagon 2018-06-06 05:27:47


Sondheimite said: "It says a lot about the culture we live in and how far we still have to come (especially in one of the supposively more liberal of the liberal arts) when shows like Wicked and Phantom, which have both run for more than a decade, are just now hiring POC actors in roles that aren't just the ensemble.
 

THIS. People were applauding Phantom for casting Norm Lewis as the first African american to play the role. But people  should have been shaming them for not casting a person of color sooner since its been running since the freakin 80's. Broadway is so tone deaf.

 

Black Glinda
Posted by Dave28282 2018-06-06 06:52:11


Wicked has a history of casting POC in all roles.

I just don't think a black Glinda is the best option, as the whole point of the story is that she portrays the typical privileged sorority girl, who has never experienced anything but adoration, completely contrasting with the colored Elphaba. This contrast is the basis of their bond. One is colored and one is not. Glinda makes remarks about Elphaba's color and the whole story is about how she is excluded and Elphaba makes remarks and gestures about Glinda that suggest she is dumb and blonde and oblivious.

Besides missing the point story wise, I also think that the race focus and victimization in society is at an absurd level at the moment that this will not give the role the emission of care free privilege that it needs. I suspect that racist people will cheer and clap from the moment she walks on, but that is forced race focus which is wrong in my opinion and the core of maintaining the racial gap. I also wonder, because Wicked is full of POC, why this role in particular is seen as some kind of "victory", because believable casting is not about victories or giving minorities of choice chances. Maybe in the future, when society understands that racism is a 2 way street, and that the race focus decreased a little (a lot), and nobody puts themselves in the victim role anymore, castings like these could feel more believable but society is not there yet. Sitting in the audience with victory flags to pretend this focus on showing how much black people are victims, widening the gap, celebrating this casting as some kind of victory, while the whole point of the story is about excluding color is a bit misplaced and forced. 

Like we discussed before, percentages of POC working in the arts are already very much level. Most people auditioning for a role are white so that automatically means a higher chance a role goes to a white person. That does not make anyone tone deaf, except for the people not understanding this. Forced race focus is never a victory. This goes for roles where color does not matter, but wanting the opposite in roles where it does matter and then see it as victory is even worse.

 

Black Glinda
Posted by adamgreer 2018-06-06 07:13:07


RicardoMagon said: "Sondheimite said: "It says a lot about the culture we live in and how far we still have to come (especially in one of the supposively more liberal of the liberal arts) when shows like Wicked and Phantom, which have both run for more than a decade, are just now hiring POC actors in roles that aren't just the ensemble.


THIS. People were applauding Phantom for casting Norm Lewis as the first African american to play the role. But peopleshould have been shaming them for not casting a person of color sooner since its been running since the freakin 80's. Broadway is so tonedeaf.


"

Robert Guillame was the first African-American Phantom. 

Black Glinda
Posted by Eliza2 2018-06-06 08:19:01


I love Brittney Johnson. I saw her go on twice as Eponine, and she was my favorite of all the Eponines in that last revival. And she has a beautiful infectious smile. I'd love to see her go on as Glinda.

Black Glinda
Posted by CedricOates 2018-06-06 09:11:14


Dave28282 said: "Wicked has a history of casting POC in all roles.

I just don't think a black Glinda is the best option, as the whole point of the story is that she portrays the typical privileged sorority girl, who has never experienced anything butadoration,completely contrasting with the colored Elphaba. This contrast is the basis of their bond. One is colored and one is not. Glinda makes remarks about Elphaba's color and the whole story is about how she is excludedand Elphaba makes remarks and gestures about Glinda that suggest she is dumb and blonde and oblivious.

Besides missingthe point story wise, I also think thatthe race focus and victimization in society is at an absurd level at the moment that this will not give the role the emission of care free privilege that it needs. I suspect that racist people will cheer and clap from the moment she walks on, but that is forced race focus which is wrong in my opinion and the core of maintaining the racial gap.I also wonder, because Wicked is full of POC, why this role in particular is seen as some kind of "victory", because believable casting is not about victories or giving minorities of choice chances. Maybe in the future, when society understands that racism is a 2 way street, and that the race focus decreased a little (a lot), and nobody puts themselves in the victim role anymore, castings like these could feel more believable but society is not there yet. Sitting in the audience with victory flags to pretend this focus on showing how much black people are victims, widening the gap, celebrating this casting as some kind of victory, while the whole point of the story is about excluding color is a bit misplaced and forced.

Like we discussed before, percentages of POC working in the arts are already very much level. Most people auditioning for a role are white so that automatically means a higher chance a role goes to a white person. That does not make anyone tone deaf, except for the people not understanding this. Forced race focus is never a victory. This goesfor roles where color does not matter, but wanting the opposite in roles where it does matter and then see it as victory is even worse.


This.

Black Glinda
Posted by Itonlytakesajourney 2018-06-06 09:25:53


Very excited about this! Brittney has a lovely voice and a bright personality; she seems perfect for Glinda. While it’s disheartening that it took this long to hav a poc play the role, I am happy for her. Would love to have her replace on tour.

Black Glinda
Posted by Rainah 2018-06-06 09:42:55


This is wonderful! I've been arguing for a while that a black Glinda should be well within the realms of possibility. Though, yes, she needs to have a blonde wig like any other Glinda. 

Black Glinda
Posted by TrChSpHa 2018-06-06 09:45:13


CedricOates said: "Dave28282 said: "Wicked has a history of casting POC in all roles.

I just don't think a black Glinda is the best option, as the whole point of the story is that she portrays the typical privileged sorority girl, who has never experienced anything butadoration,completely contrasting with the colored Elphaba. This contrast is the basis of their bond. One is colored and one is not. Glinda makes remarks about Elphaba's color and the whole story is about how she is excludedand Elphaba makes remarks and gestures about Glinda that suggest she is dumb and blonde and oblivious.

Besides missingthe point story wise, I also think thatthe race focus and victimization in society is at an absurd level at the moment that this will not give the role the emission of care free privilege that it needs. I suspect that racist people will cheer and clap from the moment she walks on, but that is forced race focus which is wrong in my opinion and the core of maintaining the racial gap.I also wonder, because Wicked is full of POC, why this role in particular is seen as some kind of "victory", because believable casting is not about victories or giving minorities of choice chances. Maybe in the future, when society understands that racism is a 2 way street, and that the race focus decreased a little (a lot), and nobody puts themselves in the victim role anymore, castings like these could feel more believable but society is not there yet. Sitting in the audience with victory flags to pretend this focus on showing how much black people are victims, widening the gap, celebrating this casting as some kind of victory, while the whole point of the story is about excluding color is a bit misplaced and forced.

Like we discussed before, percentages of POC working in the arts are already very much level. Most people auditioning for a role are white so that automatically means a higher chance a role goes to a white person. That does not make anyone tone deaf, except for the people not understanding this. Forced race focus is never a victory. This goesfor roles where color does not matter, but wanting the opposite in roles where it does matter and then see it as victory is even worse.


This.
"

Please don’t co-sign this one.

Black Glinda
Posted by CedricOates 2018-06-06 09:51:32


TrChSpHa said: "CedricOates said: "Dave28282 said: "Wicked has a history of casting POC in all roles.

I just don't think a black Glinda is the best option, as the whole point of the story is that she portrays the typical privileged sorority girl, who has never experienced anything butadoration,completely contrasting with the colored Elphaba. This contrast is the basis of their bond. One is colored and one is not. Glinda makes remarks about Elphaba's color and the whole story is about how she is excludedand Elphaba makes remarks and gestures about Glinda that suggest she is dumb and blonde and oblivious.

Besides missingthe point story wise, I also think thatthe race focus and victimization in society is at an absurd level at the moment that this will not give the role the emission of care free privilege that it needs. I suspect that racist people will cheer and clap from the moment she walks on, but that is forced race focus which is wrong in my opinion and the core of maintaining the racial gap.I also wonder, because Wicked is full of POC, why this role in particular is seen as some kind of "victory", because believable casting is not about victories or giving minorities of choice chances. Maybe in the future, when society understands that racism is a 2 way street, and that the race focus decreased a little (a lot), and nobody puts themselves in the victim role anymore, castings like these could feel more believable but society is not there yet. Sitting in the audience with victory flags to pretend this focus on showing how much black people are victims, widening the gap, celebrating this casting as some kind of victory, while the whole point of the story is about excluding color is a bit misplaced and forced.

Like we discussed before, percentages of POC working in the arts are already very much level. Most people auditioning for a role are white so that automatically means a higher chance a role goes to a white person. That does not make anyone tone deaf, except for the people not understanding this. Forced race focus is never a victory. This goesfor roles where color does not matter, but wanting the opposite in roles where it does matter and then see it as victory is even worse.


This.
"

Please don’t co-sign this one.
"

Maybe I misunderstood what the message meant. Help me understand?

Black Glinda
Posted by JBroadway 2018-06-06 09:52:21


@CedricOates

I'm confused, are you glad there's going to be a POC Glinda, or do you agree with Dave28282? 

Black Glinda
Posted by CedricOates 2018-06-06 10:02:18


JBroadway said: "@CedricOates

I'm confused, are you glad there's going to be a POC Glinda, or do you agree with Dave28282?
"

100% Glad for a PoC Glinda! Just, should have happened way earlier than now. Happy it’s happening none the less.

Black Glinda
Posted by sing_dance_love 2018-06-06 10:08:56


In my opinion, the casting of a black Glinda creates the opportunity to highlight additional shade and nuance to the character. In this situation Glinda (and presumably, her family) is a girl who has assimilated herself into the upper classes by sheer force of personality and determination and has done whatever is needed to change herself in the process (by dyeing her hair blonde, for example). Now, at Shiz, she meets someone who, in refusing to change who she is to live up to others’ standards, might remind her of who she once was, and what she might have been had she taken another path. Now there is additional emotional layering to Glinda’s attempts to shun Elphaba, to “make her over” in a more palatable way, and her eventual friendship with and acceptance of her. Again, all of this is subtextual but could be fascinating to act and watch.

In the same way, I think a Legally Blonde with a black Elle could be fascinating.

 

Black Glinda
Posted by GoblinKing2 2018-06-06 10:48:48


Does there even have to be subtext at all - considering that there have been "citizens of Oz" and other lead roles who have been people of color in the past?  It's as simple as the prevailing culture shunning Elphaba, not because she is of color, but of the wrong color, "wrong" being arbitrarily decided at some point in the past when the culture divided into "us" and "them."  It would be like that old Star Trek episode - "Don't you see?  I'm black on the right side.  He's black on the left side."  

Black Glinda
Posted by JBroadway 2018-06-06 10:55:30


CedricOates said: "JBroadway said: "100% Glad for a PoC Glinda! Just, should have happened way earlier than now. Happy it’s happening none the less."

 

Ok. I'm asking because you responded to Dave's post by saying "This" but Dave is opposed to a POC Glinda. So you sort of contradicted yourself. Just curious why you said "This" to Dave's post. 

 

Black Glinda
Posted by lightguy06222 2018-06-06 11:18:05


Daves post is FAR to deep.  while I completely agree, no one in the audience seeing WICKED is doing a deep analysis of the show.  

all that matters is if the girl is talented or not.

 

way to go black Glinda.

Black Glinda
Posted by ScottyDoesn'tKnow2 2018-06-06 11:28:39


Wicked takes place in some other world where black people don't seem to be marginalized as we've seen with Fiyero's casting in the past. There are also background characters who are joining in on the ostracizing Elphaba due to her green skin color which nobody else has. If this was a more nuanced and deep show, it could be one of those themes of members of a oppressed class finally reaching a higher rung of the ladder and putting down a new population in order to maintain their position in the social order. In this world it seems only talking animals and Elphaba are oppressed. Maybe munchkins but they joined in bullying Elphaba (from what she says not from what we see). So having a black Glinda would not disrupt any sort of theme of oppression and privilege the show is portraying.

Black Glinda
Posted by seaweedjstubbs 2018-06-06 11:46:23


This is awesome! Congrats to Ms. Johnson for making history! Now little girls of every color can imagine themselves playing Glinda someday! Hope to catch her when she's on!

And stay mad, Dave. Nobody cares.

Black Glinda
Posted by singer234 2018-06-06 11:53:02


This is awesome news. I hope more shows follow this trend. There’s no reason Cady or Regina can’t be of color in Mean Girls, and another show I’ve always thought would have an interesting dimension added to it would be a production of Dogfight with a Rose of color (which actually already happened with Lindsey Mendez, I suppose). It would add some deep subtext and be vastly more interesting, imo, especially considering the show’s time period.

Black Glinda
Posted by TravisOKC 2018-06-06 14:22:00


adamgreer said: "No worries, it’s all good.

To get back to the original post, who is finally leaving- Lindsay Northen or Heather Spore?
"

 

I kind of wonder if Lindsay will be leaving the show to tour with Jared (if he is cast as willy wonka) in the US tour of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  Just a thought.

Black Glinda
Posted by RicardoMagon 2018-06-06 16:55:03


There should be a black glinda because contrary to Broadway and Hollywood belief, there are black girls who are upper class and rich like Glinda. Black girls have different personalities besides the stereotypical sassy black girl stereotype that is portrayed on tv, theater and film.

There are black girls obsessed with pink and finding a hot boyfriend. There are black girls who speak like glinda speaks. There are black girls who have blonde hair. Black girls have been put into a corner where if they get mad for any reason they are then assumed to be the "sassy black" stereotype. But nah, black girls got all different types of personalities. It's just that hollywood and broadway never bothered to show them...

Watch Dear White People,one thing that show is great at doing is knocking down stereotypes of the african american young woman by having 4 female black characters with completely different personalities that you DONT see in hollywood or tv shows. There's actually one  black female character on the show that has the mannerisms of Glinda.

The lower middle class sassy black girl stereotype is dying. Get with it people. In real life, black girls have never just been the stereotype..

 

Black Glinda
Posted by Sondheimite 2018-06-06 16:57:51


Black Glinda
Posted by TrChSpHa 2018-06-06 17:02:25


RicardoMagon said: "There should be a black glinda because contrary to Broadway and Hollywood belief, there are black girls who are upper class and rich like Glinda. Black girls have different personalities besides the stereotypical sassy black girl stereotype that is portrayed on tv, theater and film.

There are black girls obsessed with pink and finding a hot boyfriend. There are black girls who speak like glinda speaks. There are black girls who have blonde hair. Black girls have been put into a corner where if they get mad for any reason they are then assumed to be the "sassy black" stereotype. But nah, black girls got all different types of personalities. It's just that hollywood and broadway never bothered to show them...

Watch Dear White People,one thing that show is great at doing is knocking down stereotypes of the african american young woman by having 4 female black characters with completely different personalities that you DONT see in hollywood or tv shows. There's actually one black female character on the show that has the mannerisms of Glinda.

The lower middle class sassy black girl stereotype is dying. Get with it people. In real life, black girls have never just been the stereotype..


"

Yes. Thank you.

And of course they'd put her in a blonde wig; it's not like Black women are incapable of rocking blonde (or any shade of) hair. 

Black Glinda
Posted by Sondheimite 2018-06-06 17:15:42


Black Glinda
Posted by RicardoMagon 2018-06-06 17:54:31


Hopefully Broadway and Hollywood will eventually figure out what Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ryan Coogler, and Justin Simien figured out. It's long overdue. There's no reason why an Asian man can't play the Phantom or a  young Latino man play Evan in Dear Evan Hansen. There's just no excuse for it anymore. I doubt change will happen anytime soon though.

Black Glinda
Posted by RicardoMagon 2018-06-06 17:54:37


Hopefully Broadway and Hollywood will eventually figure out what Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ryan Coogler, and Justin Simien figured out. It's long overdue. There's no reason why an Asian man can't play the Phantom or a  young Latino man play Evan in Dear Evan Hansen. There's just no excuse for it anymore. I doubt change will happen anytime soon though.

Black Glinda
Posted by Sunny11 2018-06-06 18:11:58


The fresh prince of bel air had a Black Glinda like character over a decade before Wicked opened on Broadway, the oldest sister Hilary. 

Black Glinda
Posted by Dave28282 2018-06-06 18:38:37


Some people on here clearly haven't read or understood my post.

Clearly this girl was better than anyone else auditioning. Clearly all the other girls auditioning were not as good as her. She was clearly so much better, that they decided to overlook the story a bit.

That's cool. It's not the best option, but what can you do if no one else was as good as her?

She got the part and I'm happy and supportive for every person who gets the part. She will be great. 

The problem lies in people seeing this particular role cast black as a victory, which is ridiculous and way too race focused.

Black Glinda
Posted by Dave28282 2018-06-06 18:46:40


RicardoMagon said: "There should be a black glinda because contrary to Broadway and Hollywood belief, there are black girls who are upper class and rich like Glinda."

There "should" not be any color Glinda. 

The role should be based on other things and if a girl is talented over others they can slightly look past certain traits.

But don't go complaining that there "should be" a black Glinda. That's a toxic race focus. The core of the problem. That's not how casting works.

 

Black Glinda
Posted by Dave28282 2018-06-06 18:49:32


JBroadway said: "@CedricOates

I'm confused, are you glad there's going to be a POC Glinda, or do you agree with Dave28282?
"

I'm confused, do you want a POC Glinda or a good Glinda?

Of course it can be both but shouldn't the focus lie on the 2nd?

You can better ask him: "Are you fine with a POC Glinda, or do you focus on race too much and demand it?"

Black Glinda
Posted by Dave28282 2018-06-06 18:51:53


RicardoMagon said: "Hopefully Broadway and Hollywood will eventually figure out what Lin-Manuel Miranda figuered out"

That deliberately casting on the race of choice is a good thing?

 

Black Glinda
Posted by TexanAddams18 2018-06-06 18:56:13


Dave28282 said: "Some people on here clearly haven't read or understood my post.

Clearly this girl was better than anyone else auditioning. Clearly all the other girls auditioning were not as good as her. She was clearly so much better, that they decided to overlook the story a bit.

What exactly are they overlooking? The only physical description in the text (correct me if I am wrong) is that she is blonde. An African American can be blonde. There are many of them. What is the problem?

 

 

Black Glinda
Posted by Dave28282 2018-06-06 19:00:03


I described this in my previous post on page 1.

Black Glinda
Posted by Gizmo6 2018-06-06 19:04:04


Dave28282 said: "RicardoMagon said: "There should be a black glinda because contrary to Broadway and Hollywood belief, there are black girls who are upper class and rich like Glinda."

There "should" not be any color Glinda.

The role should be based on other things and if a girl is talented over others they can slightly look past certain traits.

But don't go complaining that there "should be" a black Glinda. That's a toxic race focus. The core of the problem. That's not how casting works.


"

Who are you to dictate how casting works? 

Black Glinda
Posted by Dave28282 2018-06-06 19:08:07


Gizmo6 said: "Dave28282 said: "RicardoMagon said: "There should be a black glinda because contrary to Broadway and Hollywood belief, there are black girls who are upper class and rich like Glinda."

There "should" not be any color Glinda.

The role should be based on other things and if a girl is talented over others they can slightly look past certain traits.

But don't go complaining that there "should be" a black Glinda. That's a toxic race focus. The core of the problem. That's not how casting works.


"

Who are you to dictate how casting works?
"

It either works one way, or the other way.

Deliberately casting on the race of choice is a good thing or a bad thing. 

Not just selectively agreeing if the race of choice suits you.

Black Glinda
Posted by TexanAddams18 2018-06-06 19:08:42


Dave28282 said: "Wicked has a history of casting POC in all roles.

I just don't think a black Glinda is the best option, as the whole point of the story is that she portrays the typical privileged sorority girl, who has never experienced anything butadoration,completely contrasting with the colored Elphaba. This contrast is the basis of their bond. One is colored and one is not. Glinda makes remarks about Elphaba's color and the whole story is about how she is excludedand Elphaba makes remarks and gestures about Glinda that suggest she is dumb and blonde and oblivious.


An African American actress is fully capable of portraying a "typical privileged sorority girl". An African American actress is fully capable of portraying someone "dumb and blonde and oblivious". And frankly, unless they find someone green to play Glinda, there will be a difference in skin color which is all that matters in the context of they story. 

Black Glinda
Posted by RicardoMagon 2018-06-06 19:14:44


Dave28282 said: "Gizmo6 said: "Dave28282 said: "RicardoMagon said: "There should be a black glinda because contrary to Broadway and Hollywood belief, there are black girls who are upper class and rich like Glinda."

There "should" not be any color Glinda.

The role should be based on other things and if a girl is talented over others they can slightly look past certain traits.

But don't go complaining that there "should be" a black Glinda. That's a toxic race focus. The core of the problem. That's not how casting works.


"


 

I've seen Dave's past comments on race and casting. I will not be conversing with him. There's no point.

 

Black Glinda
Posted by Sondheimite 2018-06-06 19:16:07


Dave doesn't work in casting and I would more than guess that Dave does not make his living working in the arts.  And I will guess that Dave never will.  

Who cares what Dave thinks?

Black Glinda
Posted by Dave28282 2018-06-06 19:19:40


You have no idea...

But never mind, my quest for equality will not be harmed by some separatists!

Black Glinda
Posted by Sondheimite 2018-06-06 19:22:44


Dave28282 said: "You have no idea..."

Community theatre board secretary doesn't count, bb

Black Glinda
Posted by Gizmo6 2018-06-06 19:24:23


Dave28282 said: "Gizmo6 said: "Dave28282 said: "RicardoMagon said: "There should be a black glinda because contrary to Broadway and Hollywood belief, there are black girls who are upper class and rich like Glinda."

There "should" not be any color Glinda.

The role should be based on other things and if a girl is talented over others they can slightly look past certain traits.

But don't go complaining that there "should be" a black Glinda. That's a toxic race focus. The core of the problem. That's not how casting works.


"

Who are you to dictate how casting works?
"

It either works one way, or the other way.

Deliberately casting on the race of choice is a good thing or a bad thing.

Not just selectively agreeing if the race of choice suits you.
"

Your post always reek of privilege. No one is robbing white actress of roles. 

The door has just been opened on one particular character that it had been closed on. 

Yes, a decision had most likely been made to open the door, that doesn’t deflect from the fact the actress is extremely talented. 

The door should always be open. End of. 

Black Glinda
Posted by Dave28282 2018-06-06 20:04:39


Gizmo6 said: "Yes, a decision had most likely been made to open the door, that doesn’t deflect from the fact the actress is extremely talented.

The door should always be open. End of."

These are 2 different things. 

Yes, the door should always be open. But a decision made based on race is wrong. End of.

Black Glinda
Posted by Bell0708 2018-06-06 20:11:53


Brittney's replacing Heather Spore, who actually hasn't been considered an understudy for years, but she was still listed as one because of something to do with how her contract is??  I don't know, I don't get it either.  I hope she gets a lot of chances to go on, but even Lindsay doesn't go on that much, so unfortunately, I don't think she'll be performing as Glinda for quite a while.  Congrats to her though!  

Black Glinda
Posted by RicardoMagon 2018-06-06 20:12:38


The casting of Marcus Choi as George Washington in the Hamilton national tour has been tweeted about by so many Asian Broadway actors and actresses. Visibility matters.

Black Glinda
Posted by Elegance101 2018-06-06 21:15:59


Literally whenever I see a thread remotely involving race, I cringe at the thought of what Dave is going to post.

Black Glinda
Posted by TrChSpHa 2018-06-06 21:18:03


Dave28282 said: "Gizmo6 said: "Dave28282 said: "RicardoMagon said: "There should be a black glinda because contrary to Broadway and Hollywood belief, there are black girls who are upper class and rich like Glinda."

There "should" not be any color Glinda.

The role should be based on other things and if a girl is talented over others they can slightly look past certain traits.

But don't go complaining that there "should be" a black Glinda. That's a toxic race focus. The core of the problem. That's not how casting works.


"

Who are you to dictate how casting works?
"

It either works one way, or the other way.

Deliberately casting on the race of choice is a good thing or a bad thing.

Not just selectively agreeing if the race of choice suits you.
"

Casting directors literally cast actors based on their whiteness all the time, so what are you even talking about?

You're absolutely right that they should be cast in roles based on their talent alone. But that's not the case, and has never been the case, which is the issue.

Black Glinda
Posted by Sondheimite 2018-06-06 21:28:12


I wish black movie actors who had less than perfectly melodic singing voices were cast in every role so Dave would literally explode.  

Black Glinda
Posted by BroadwayRox3588 2018-06-06 21:40:10


Elegance101 said: "Literally whenever I see a thread remotely involving race, I cringe at the thought of what Dave is going to post."

This, though.

Black Glinda
Posted by adamgreer 2018-06-06 21:56:42


Assuming the poster above is correct, and she’s replacing Heather Spore, the likelihood of her actually going on is fairly minimal. There’s a very clearly defined hierarchy in terms of Glinda covers at the Gershwin, with the standby going on first, and then in the rare instances the billed Glinda and standby are unavailable, Lindsay Northen has always gone on. They haven’t needed to go beyond Lindsay Northen in years, so all of this back and forth is likely for naught.

Black Glinda
Posted by Boq101 2018-06-07 00:35:49


Dave28282 said: "Some people on here clearly haven't read or understood my post.

Clearly this girl was better than anyone else auditioning. Clearly all the other girls auditioning were not as good as her. She was clearly so much better, that they decided to overlook the story a bit.

That's cool. It's not the best option, but what can you do if no one else was as good as her?

She got the part and I'm happy and supportive for every person who gets the part. She will be great.

The problem lies in people seeing this particular role cast black as a victory, which is ridiculous and way too race focused.
"

 

Not the best option? Are we to infer that Dave has a problem seeing Black people are people with privilege? Is this because Dave is only comfortable seeing black people in a more subservient role? 

 

Black Glinda
Posted by Elfuhbuh 2018-06-07 01:17:45


Guys, don’t bother with Dave. When you boil down to it, all of his comments on race and “equality” always manage to be about why the Poor White Actors are being oppressed whenever it’s acknowledged that bringing more diversity to the stage is a good thing. I’m not shocked that he managed to find a reason to be upset about this news despite his usual crowing about “the best actor for the job.”

Black Glinda
Posted by Dave28282 2018-06-07 05:34:59


Boq101 said: "Dave28282 said: "Some people on here clearly haven't read or understood my post.

Clearly this girl was better than anyone else auditioning. Clearly all the other girls auditioning were not as good as her. She was clearly so much better, that they decided to overlook the story a bit.

That's cool. It's not the best option, but what can you do if no one else was as good as her?

She got the part and I'm happy and supportive for every person who gets the part. She will be great.

The problem lies in people seeing this particular role cast black as a victory, which is ridiculous and way too race focused.
"



Not the best option? Are we to infer that Dave has a problem seeing Black people are people with privilege? Is this because Dave is only comfortable seeing black people in a more subservient role?


"

No, not at all.

Like I said, I fully support her.

Unlike the victimization others put on her.

Black Glinda
Posted by BroadwayRox3588 2018-06-07 09:03:21


Elfuhbuh said: "Guys, don’t bother with Dave. When you boil down to it, all of his comments on race and “equality” always manage to be about why the Poor White Actors are being oppressed whenever it’s acknowledged that bringing more diversity to the stage is a good thing. I’m not shocked that he managed to find a reason to be upset about this news despite his usual crowing about “the best actor for the job.”"

I actually have a theory about Dave. This just came to me. I think he posts these comments, because he believes that if he spews this rhetoric enough, it will frustrate enough people, that the discussions about race/equality/diversity/etc. will die down on this website, for fear of what he'll say. I honestly think the best way to deal with him is to just ignore him, and pretend his posts in these threads don't exist. It's not like he knows what he's talking about anyway, so what's the point in engaging with him?

Black Glinda
Posted by Dave28282 2018-06-07 09:07:22


Sticking your head in the sand is not the solution to equality.

Black Glinda
Posted by Elfuhbuh 2018-06-07 13:58:50


BroadwayRox3588 said: "Elfuhbuh said: "Guys, don’t bother with Dave. When you boil down to it, all of his comments on race and “equality” always manage to be about why the Poor White Actors are being oppressed whenever it’s acknowledged that bringing more diversity to the stage is a good thing. I’m not shocked that he managed to find a reason to be upset about this news despite his usual crowing about “the best actor for the job.”"

I actually have a theory about Dave. This just came to me.I think he posts these comments, because he believes that if he spews this rhetoric enough, it will frustrate enough people, that the discussions about race/equality/diversity/etc. will die down on this website, for fear of what he'll say. I honestly think the best way to deal with him is to just ignore him, and pretend his posts in these threads don't exist. It's not like he knows what he's talking about anyway, so what's the point in engaging with him?
"



That's pretty much what we all should do at this point. It's telling the amount of mental gymnastics and changing of goalposts Dave accomplishes during these discussions, because no matter what, his arguments always land on why a white actor deserved a role/should have been cast instead of a POC. Race, in the real life, Earth-centric meaning, isn't a factor at all in Wicked, nor is Glinda specifically referred to in the script as a white woman, so there's no reason why a black actress who was The Best Person For The Job shouldn't be encouraged to play the part. (Also funny that he's bringing up non-existent "problems" with casting a black Glinda in regards to the story, when just a few weeks ago he was complaining about the idea that white people shouldn't be taking the Latino roles in West Side Story in light of the ACTUAL racial themes in the story. See? Moving goalposts and changing his tune whenever it suits getting a white person onstage over a POC.)

Black Glinda
Posted by Sondheimite 2018-06-07 14:08:11


Dave is a <<edited by BWW staff>> that a lot of people on this board has tried to educate.  But he's unreachable.  We just all just use the ignore/block feature so that he's effectively screaming into a void.  It's upsetting and it's frustrating but some people would rather be a <<edited by BWW staff>>.  

Black Glinda
Posted by mailhandler777 2018-06-08 00:45:54


adamgreer said: "Assuming the poster above is correct, and she’s replacing Heather Spore, the likelihood of her actually going on is fairly minimal. There’s a very clearly defined hierarchy in terms of Glinda covers at the Gershwin, with the standby going on first, and then in the rare instances the billed Glinda and standby are unavailable, Lindsay Northen has always gone on. They haven’t needed to go beyond Lindsay Northen in years, so all of this back and forth is likely for naught. "

She has indeed replaced Heather. Amanda Jane doesn't miss often and neither does her standby. Brittney will be lucky if she even gets a chance to unless they alternate again.

Black Glinda
Posted by Kad 2018-06-08 09:45:02


Sondheimite said: "Dave is a<>that a lot of people on this board has tried to educate. But he's unreachable. We just all just use the ignore/block feature so that he's effectively screaming into a void. It's upsetting and it's frustrating but some people would rather be a <>."

...did the moderators really censor the word "racist"?

 

Black Glinda
Posted by Dave28282 2018-06-08 17:17:44


Elfuhbuh, your reaction is complete nonsense.

I say I fully support her and she was clearly the best for the job. And I have never said the things you mention abbout WSS either.

You are completely missing my point. All I say is victimization is not the way to equality. But clearly some people love to maintain that roles.

Black Glinda
Posted by JessSmith2 2019-01-10 12:56:07


I heard she is going on tonight. Can anyone else confirm if this is true? I would love to go see the show if it is!

Black Glinda
Posted by B.JAMES 2019-01-10 13:15:14


Will tonight be her first night on?

Black Glinda
Posted by FlyHigh523 2019-01-10 14:17:40


She is indeed going on tonight. It is confirmed!

Black Glinda
Posted by steven22 2019-01-10 14:38:57


Im very jealous of anyone there tonight! She seems very talented! Ill be at Waitress seeing Sara...very excited but Id like to be at Wicked!

Black Glinda
Posted by Call_me_jorge 2019-01-10 14:51:57


FlyHigh523 said: "She is indeed going on tonight. It is confirmed!"

by whom and where?

 

Black Glinda
Posted by WldKingdomHM 2019-01-10 14:52:44


Anyone up for lotto ?

Black Glinda
Posted by natashalost 2019-01-10 14:55:07


I just got a ticket for tonight from TodayTix! I am so excited to see her!

Black Glinda
Posted by haterobics 2019-01-10 15:09:19


Dave28282 said: "How was she?"

Tonight has yet to become tomorrow's yesterday.

Black Glinda
Posted by Dave28282 2019-01-10 15:36:01


haterobics said: "Dave28282 said: "How was she?"

Tonight has yet to become tomorrow's yesterday.
"

Haha thanks, I just saw it when I typed it. Traveling at the moment, so different time zones. We just have to wait till tonight then.

Black Glinda
Posted by JustinLovesSideShow 2019-01-10 15:45:21


Apparently shes getting one or two shows this week

Black Glinda
Posted by FlyHigh523 2019-01-10 15:48:42


Call_me_jorge said: "FlyHigh523 said: "She is indeed going on tonight. It is confirmed!"

by whom and where?


"

Friends I know in the cast. She will be going on tonight. Very jealous of everyone attending!

Black Glinda
Posted by Kad 2019-01-10 17:01:13


The only color the skin of Glinda absolutely, positively cannot be is green

Other than that, the ethnicity of Glinda doesn't matter. It's a fantasy story in a fantasy setting and the races of the actors in any of the roles has no bearing in the story being told. 

Black Glinda
Posted by starcatchers 2019-01-10 17:29:54


Kad said: "The only color the skin of Glinda absolutely, positively cannot beis green.

Other than that, the ethnicity of Glinda doesn't matter. It's a fantasy story in a fantasy setting and the races of the actors in any of the roles has no bearing in the story being told.
"

Of course it doesn’t. But it’s still worth noting that this is finally happening. 

Black Glinda
Posted by haterobics 2019-01-10 17:34:04


So, something that doesn't matter is finally happening...

Black Glinda
Posted by starcatchers 2019-01-10 17:37:18


Poorly worded on my end. Its worth noting that the role is finally being cast accordingly to the fact that her ethnicity has absolutely nothing to do with the story.

 

To those of you going tonight - enjoy! I wish I didn’t have tickets for something else, because I think Brittney will be wonderful. 

Black Glinda
Posted by Call_me_jorge 2019-01-10 18:05:15


It’s confirmed on her instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BseJ6_ohBEU/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=1b9jzk3a2s5bs

Black Glinda
Posted by Kad 2019-01-10 19:02:43


starcatchers said: "Kad said: "The only color the skin of Glinda absolutely, positively cannot beis green.

Other than that, the ethnicity of Glinda doesn't matter. It's a fantasy story in a fantasy setting and the races of the actors in any of the roles has no bearing in the story being told.
"

Of course it doesn’t. But it’s still worth noting that this is finally happening.
"

I think my intent may not have been clear! I do think it's very much worth noting- there is no reason why it should have taken 15 years for Wicked to have a non-white Glinda.

 

Black Glinda
Posted by The Distinctive Baritone 2019-01-10 20:26:48


“None of the other Glindas were cast because they're white. They were cast because they were good.”

 


Uh, no. Im sure hundreds of POC women have auditioned for Wicked, were perfectly capable of playing Glinda, and were not even considered for this role because simply because they were a POC.

That said, a non-white person in the role would require at least one line change, so...what color was her wig? Or did they change the line?

Black Glinda
Posted by zainmax 2019-01-10 20:40:05


It took her a long time to go on, but great!

Black Glinda
Posted by wish i were here2 2019-01-10 20:41:13


Update: At the show. Brittney is killing it. She had an glorious entrance applause. So glad to have gotten the opportunity to see this happen.

Black Glinda
Posted by starcatchers 2019-01-10 21:14:17


Kad said: "starcatchers said: "Kad said: "The only color the skin of Glinda absolutely, positively cannot beis green.

Other than that, the ethnicity of Glinda doesn't matter. It's a fantasy story in a fantasy setting and the races of the actors in any of the roles has no bearing in the story being told.
"

Of course it doesn’t. But it’s still worth noting that this is finally happening.
"

I think my intent may not have been clear! I do think it's very much worth noting- there is no reason why it should have taken 15 years for Wicked to have a non-white Glinda.


"

I very much misunderstood you. Thank you for clarifying. 

Black Glinda
Posted by FlyHigh523 2019-01-10 21:26:24


Looks like they made her wig darker, like a dirty blonde. It looks great. She makes a beautiful Glinda!

Black Glinda
Posted by steven22 2019-01-10 21:47:59


Is she on tomorrow too? Looks like Katie Rose Clarke is out this week and a combo of Lisa Livesay and Lindsay K. Northern and Britney are covering.

Black Glinda
Posted by haterobics 2019-01-10 21:52:07


wish i were here2 said: "Update: At the show. Brittney is killing it. She had an glorious entrance applause. So glad to have gotten the opportunity to see this happen."

So you DON'T have to wish you were there!

Black Glinda
Posted by sorano916 2019-01-10 21:52:30


Jessica posted a photo with Brittney on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BsefR0Fgoev/

Today marks history at Wicked. Miss Brittney Johnson is gracing the Gershwin stage as the first Glinda of color on Broadway. This is both deserved and integral to this show and the entire theatre community. The fact that she inspires all of us here is one thing. The fact that she is inspiring women all over the world to follow their dreams is simply life changing all around. This is what a Glinda looks like. #BlackGlinda #BlackGirlMagic#RepresentationMatters #proud

Black Glinda
Posted by WldKingdomHM 2019-01-10 22:05:30


Shes amazing folks. She will be on Friday

. Get tickets. Beautiful performance. So refreshing

Black Glinda
Posted by haterobics 2019-01-10 22:10:47


Pic of her getting in her bubble: https://www.instagram.com/p/BsefeGVhF53/

Black Glinda
Posted by Elfuhbuh 2019-01-10 22:32:42


It looks like they're going for the idea that Glinda had her hair dyed as a "personal flair" sort of thing. She looks great! :)

Black Glinda
Posted by Bell0708 2019-01-10 22:33:56


wish i were here2 said: "Update: At the show. Brittney is killing it. She had an glorious entrance applause. So glad to have gotten the opportunity to see this happen. "

So happy for her, about time!  Is Ryan McCarran back yet?  I'm sure they looked great together!

Black Glinda
Posted by wish i were here2 2019-01-10 22:40:45


Bell0708 said: "wish i were here2 said: "Update: At the show. Brittney is killing it. She had an glorious entrance applause. So glad to have gotten the opportunity to see this happen. "

So happy for her, about time! Is Ryan McCarran back yet? I'm sure they looked great together!
"

Jake Boyd is still Fiyero!

Black Glinda
Posted by Luminaire2 2019-01-10 22:47:59


This makes my heart sing.

Black Glinda
Posted by Observation 2019-01-10 22:48:42


Michael Kushner posted this on facebook with the caption: "Just photographed Brittney Johnson, the first Glinda of color, as she prepares to go on in Wicked for the first time."

As I post this it has 515 reactions, 44 comments, and 324 shares. 



 

Black Glinda
Posted by steven22 2019-01-10 23:05:15


So she is on tomorrow, Friday 1/11? Im about to buy...

Black Glinda
Posted by starcatchers 2019-01-10 23:09:50


steven22 said: "So she is on tomorrow, Friday 1/11? Im about to buy..."

Ditto. Do we have confirmation that she’s definitely on? 

Black Glinda
Posted by WldKingdomHM 2019-01-10 23:11:08


Yes she will be on

Black Glinda
Posted by Luminaire2 2019-01-11 00:49:00


I mean so... if you search Brittney Johnson in YouTube there are some great videos of her singing from the past. And such.

Black Glinda
Posted by ParkerPauly 2019-01-11 06:54:06


I'm going tomorrow and wow, I really enjoy Brittney's singing from some of the videos out there. Anyone know who will be going on as Glinda tomorrow (1/12) matinee?  Fingers crossed!  Also wondering if Jessica will be on. Not trolling, sincerely asking!   

Black Glinda
Posted by WldKingdomHM 2019-01-11 06:57:25


No she’s  going on tonight. I think the standby will be going on tomorrow. I could be mistaken

Black Glinda
Posted by natashalost 2019-01-11 07:38:56


I was there last night and she was brilliant. Her Im Not That Girl reprise was particularly touching. Shes definitely one of my favorite Glindas Ive seen. Worth every penny. Hope one day she gets bumped up to principal!

Black Glinda
Posted by WldKingdomHM 2019-01-11 08:18:07


That entrance applause was everything

Agree with Natasha they should promote her 

Black Glinda
Posted by steven22 2019-01-11 08:47:31


Black Glinda
Posted by haterobics 2019-01-11 08:49:54


steven22 said: "So who is tonight? Lisa or Brittney?"

Not sure how many ways there are to answer this...

Black Glinda
Posted by WldKingdomHM 2019-01-11 09:21:48


people don't read

Black Glinda
Posted by steven22 2019-01-11 09:35:48


Apologies, read it quickly on my way to work.

Black Glinda
Posted by Kad 2019-01-11 09:58:25


The Distinctive Baritone said: "“None of the other Glindas were cast because they're white. They were cast because they were good.”


Uh, no. Im sure hundreds of POC women have auditioned for Wicked, were perfectly capable of playing Glinda, and were not even considered for this role because simply because they were a POC.
"

That is almost certainly the case. Because the original template for the role is a white actress, it's hard for that to be broken from, either because of the limits of imagination on the part of people making those decisions or for fear of deviating from an established brand. 

 

Black Glinda
Posted by uncageg 2019-01-11 11:26:11


I agree Kad. What disappointed me a bit was the role of Fiyero. He is described as a person of color in the book. Yes, they have had black actors pay the part but it would have been nice to have originally cast a person of color.

Same with the Potter franchise and Hermoine. But it was nice to see her as originally described in the play.

With that said, Chenoweth and Watson made the parts their own and loved them both. JMO

Black Glinda
Posted by haterobics 2019-01-11 11:35:34


uncageg said: "Same with the Potter franchise and Hermoine. But it was nice to see her as originally described in the play."

Not sure about that, even Rowling said Hermione's skin color was never specified:

https://twitter.com/jk_rowling/status/678888094339366914?lang=en

Black Glinda
Posted by hamiltonstradition 2019-01-11 11:35:50


ParkerPauly said: "I'm going tomorrow and wow, I really enjoyBrittney's singing from some of the videos out there. Anyone know who will be going on as Glinda tomorrow (1/12) matinee? Fingers crossed! Also wondering if Jessica will be on.Not trolling, sincerely asking!"

Jess sometimes calls out on ONE of the weekend matinees, but it is not unheard of for her to go on for all 5 shows. (the current s/b has almost exclusively been on during the weekend 16/20 of her performances have been on a weekend). 

Lisa Livesay should be Glinda!

Black Glinda
Posted by ScottyDoesn'tKnow2 2019-01-11 11:53:05


uncageg said: "I agree Kad. What disappointed me a bit was the role of Fiyero. He is described as a person of color in the book. Yes, they have had black actors pay the part but it would have been nice to have originally cast a person of color.

Same with the Potter franchise and Hermoine. But it was nice to see her as originally described in the play.

With that said, Chenoweth and Watson made the parts their own and loved them both. JMO
"

Hermione's race was never described in the books. I just remember her being described as having bushy brown hair and buck teeth (that she got rid of in book 4 after Malfoy does a spell on her that made her teeth continually grow. She then went to Madame Pomfrey's to get it fixed and admitted told Pomfrey to keep going when they were their original size to make them smaller than they were to Ron's chagrin).

Black Glinda
Posted by jimmycurry01 2019-01-11 12:06:30


RicardoMagon said: "Sondheimite said: "It says a lot about the culture we live in and how far we still have to come (especially in one of the supposively more liberal of the liberal arts) when shows like Wicked and Phantom, which have both run for more than a decade, are just now hiring POC actors in roles that aren't just the ensemble.


THIS. People were applauding Phantom for casting Norm Lewis as the first African american to play the role. But peopleshould have been shaming them for not casting a person of color sooner since its been running since the freakin 80's. Broadway is so tonedeaf.


"

Norm was the first African American to play the role on Broadway, but he was not the first to play the role in the US. It is an important distinction to make. Robert Guillaume replaced Michael Crawford in the original Las Angeles cast in 1990. He deserves the credit for being the first African American Phantom, and the first Phantom of color in general.

Black Glinda
Posted by bdn223 2019-01-11 12:37:22


uncageg said: "I agree Kad. What disappointed me a bit was the role of Fiyero. He is described as a person of color in the book. Yes, they have had black actors pay the part but it would have been nice to have originally cast a person of color.

Same with the Potter franchise and Hermoine. But it was nice to see her as originally described in the play.

With that said, Chenoweth and Watson made the parts their own and loved them both. JMO
"

There is no mention of Skin color in any of the Harry Potter Books regarding Hermione....It's actually one of the thorns any of the fans have against JK Rowling for retconning Harry Potter lore and characters to make the books seem more progressive then they are. The original covers of the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban have Harry and Hermione riding on a hippogriff on the cover and she is not black.... If it was JK Rowling's true intention for the character to be black she would of vetoed the cover art. As someone who works in Publishing, I can tell you JK Rowling had final approval on her cover art. But I digress.

 

Congrats to Brittney!! And I hope this opens the door for a future actress who is not white to be cast as Galinda outright and not just the understudy!

Black Glinda
Posted by haterobics 2019-01-11 12:48:58


bdn223 said: "If it was JK Rowling's true intention for the character to be black she would of vetoed the cover art. As someone who works in Publishing, I can tell you JK Rowling had final approval on her cover art."

I recall her just letting the artists come up with their own interpretations of what the characters looked like, no? The US and UK editions didn't even use the same illustrators...

Black Glinda
Posted by uncageg 2019-01-11 13:16:17


You are all right about no skin color being mentioned for Hermoine. Her description suggested that she may not be white. However Watson did sport the bushy hair.

Black Glinda
Posted by Elfuhbuh 2019-01-11 13:29:12


Im sorry, but there is no way JK Rowling had a racially mysterious Hermione in mind when she wrote those books. Shes only saying that now because she saw some fans suggesting Hermione could be black a couple years before Cursed Child was a thing and was like, Yeah! However the fans want to interpret her, etc., etc. But she did approve the cover art, she did describe Hermiones face as white in one scene, and she implied Hermione got a tan during vacation in Prizoner of Azkaban, indicating that her skin isnt usually a darker shade. I dont mind the idea of a black Hermione, but many people are giving JK Rowling too much credit by claiming she always envisioned Hermione as being a blank slate when it comes to her race.

Black Glinda
Posted by uncageg 2019-01-11 13:40:57


Well, it must be nice to actually know what was going on inside her head.

This did not come up just a few years before the play. I remember a lot of people discussing it when the books first came out.

Black Glinda
Posted by amazingamandakate 2019-01-11 14:33:52


You can tell that JKR meant for the leads to be white because when characters of color appeared in the Harry Potter books, they were either described as black (Dean Thomas and Kingsley Shacklebolt) or given an obvious name (Cho Chang). Also, Hermione is pretty clearly based on herself.

I dont really mind her saying that Hermione never had a stated race, because she technically didnt, but she probably never pictured Hermione as anyone but white while writing the books.

Black Glinda
Posted by haterobics 2019-01-11 14:44:15


amazingamandakate said: "I dont really mind her saying that Hermione never had a stated race, because she technically didnt, but she probably never pictured Hermione as anyone but white while writing the books."

Those are separate things, though. What an author pictures and what an author allows the reader to picture can be written to allow a wide range of interpretations. Ultimately, the author is just the first reader of the material, who is interpreting the text for themselves first.

Black Glinda
Posted by Fosse76 2019-01-11 15:22:26


jimmycurry01 said: "Norm was the first African American to play the role on Broadway, but he was not the first to play the role in the US. It is an important distinction to make. Robert Guillaume replaced Michael Crawford in the original Las Angeles cast in 1990. He deserves the credit for being the first African American Phantom, and the first Phantom of color in general."

He was the first, and last until Norm Lewis. But don't give Cameron Macintosh and ALW too much credit for being progressive. Guillaume contacted them about playing the role just as it was opening in LA. He was cast not simply because he could sing and act the role (arguably), but was also a celebrity, of sorts, who could bring in an audience after the departure of Michael Crawford. 

Black Glinda
Posted by haterobics 2019-01-11 15:27:56


Fosse76 said: "Guillaume contacted them about playing the role just as it was opening in LA. He was cast not simply because he could sing and actthe role (arguably), but was also a celebrity, of sorts, who could bring in an audience after the departure of Michael Crawford."

Were people that thrilled with the idea of seeing Benson as the Phantom?!?

Black Glinda
Posted by jimmycurry01 2019-01-11 16:27:19


Fosse76 said: "jimmycurry01 said: "Norm was the first African American to play the role on Broadway, but he was not the first to play the role in the US. It is an important distinction to make. Robert Guillaume replaced Michael Crawford in the original Las Angeles cast in 1990. He deserves the credit for being the first African American Phantom, and the first Phantom of color in general."

He was the first, and last until Norm Lewis. But don't give Cameron Macintosh and ALW too much credit for being progressive. Guillaume contacted them about playing the role just as it was opening in LA. He was cast not simply because he could sing and actthe role (arguably), but was also a celebrity, of sorts, who could bring in an audience after the departure of Michael Crawford.
"

This is all true, but it is still a distinction that Guillaume deserves. I was merely pointing out that credit must be given where it is due.

Black Glinda
Posted by bdn223 2019-01-11 16:31:21


haterobics said: "bdn223 said: "If it was JK Rowling's true intention for the character to be black she would of vetoed the cover art. As someone who works in Publishing, I can tell you JK Rowling had final approval on her cover art."

I recall her just letting the artists come up with their own interpretations of what the characters looked like, no? The US and UK editions didn't even use the same illustrators...
"

Trust me when I say this JK Rowling had to approve of her covers, and her character’s skin colors on them. We had to scrap 25k copies of a book because the author thought the color of the protagonists skin was too dark on the final cover art on the books after printing, which caused the Author to think the audience might misconstrue as black instead of latino. Especially considering by Askaban, Harry Potter was already successful enough that Rowling was getting a list treatment by Scholastic and Bloomsbury gave her whatever she wanted. Its a main reason why a lot of the more presige authors don’t have depictions of their characters on front covers as they don’t want to confuse the reader. 

Black Glinda
Posted by Dave28282 2019-01-11 18:19:47


Glad to hear she did great! Go girl! It's always nice to see new talent taking on a role.

I am on her side and always on the side of equality. And that is exactly the mindset of the casting directors, the production, the actress and myself here. This is the right direction.

What does worry me slightly is the reaction of the audience and some posters here. And I will choose my words very carefully because "silencing" seems to be a big problem on the board lately. But we need to realize that there is a difference between being happy with progress and victimization of a group of people. Let me explain this. It seems that we all mean well and we all think our standpoints are good. But fact is that nearly all posts are only about her color. Not about the actress or talent. In every other Glinda casting, reactions are about that, the performer, with, many, many traits. Why not here? Why only on this trait? I have difficulties with this, because the word race is never above the word equal to me. To me the people who do this are not treating her as equal. And this is not nitpicking of me, this race focus is the complete basis of inequality. When she came on, people say "the entrance applause was EVERYTHING and out of this world". There is a fine line between sympathy and talent judgement. But ok, I can understand that there's some enthusiasm here, but whether you like it or not, it is very much based on a race focus, and it directly shows the focus of the particular audience, because would they clap less loud for another race? Should we treat any performer differently based on race? Whether you like it or not, it is racial separation, again, the core of the problem. In the end, nobody would really want to go down this road. Another poster said "I'm not that girl reprise" was particularly touching. I have never read this about any other Glinda, because usually every other aspect, (which is 99% of the role) is discussed or praised, which is also very interesting. It is the one moment where the role asks for sympathy (it is written that way), so it is interesting that this moment is mentioned. In my opinion, and I have tried to explain this for years, it is wrong if a show changes intention because of a race focus in a show where it doesn't even matter! This has nothing to do with the show or the actress, this has all to do with the focus of the audience. And that's where the key factor comes in again, do we focus on race difference, or can we see people. Because only then the road to equality will start. Are audiences ready for equal treatment? Right now this girl is treated as some kind of alien, not by the production, casting team, herself or me, but by audiences. We need to ask ourselves what true equality is. And be very careful that we don't widen the race gap by all this extreme race focus but focus on all the progress made in the last few years. Basically, I think it is better that in today's climate our children (our future) learn that a black president, a black talkshow host, black artists leading the popcharts, black characters in every tv show, movie, musical out there is the most normal thing on earth. It actually always was to me. Until I see thread titles like this. I am really curious, and hope some posters can answer this, have you ever thought of the idea that we have the choice of treating things normally and what the results of that will be in the long run? Aside from the good intentions we all think we have. 

I also truly hope this girl finds fulfillment in the fact that she is just very great in the role and doesn't feel like she just gets sympathy or feels victimized based on certain peculiar reactions, out of sympathy, so to speak. It is a very interesting reaction.
 

Black Glinda
Posted by LesWickedly 2019-01-11 18:46:59


Dave, you make some interesting points but I still don't understand why you think it's wrong to celebrate her race. When a role has established a 15 year history of only casting white women, in a show where someone is discriminated against their skin, it is important to take note. Producers and casting directors can see the celebration and be encouraged to keep moving forward in diversifying their shows.

I do hope one day we don't have to celebrate every little step, but right now that is where we are at since there are so many big steps left to take towards true diversity. 

You may think you're progressive in your "colorblind" thinking but it actually isn't and it's important to see race and acknowledge your privilege if you happen to be white. As a white person, I'll leave it to a person of color to explain this much better than me: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/culturally-speaking/201112/colorblind-ideology-is-form-racism

Black Glinda
Posted by Dave28282 2019-01-11 18:58:50


I see your point but I disagree. There is nothing wrong with celebrating that, and I am not saying we should not see or acknowledge race. But it should be normalized. And it is our choice how we treat that. These excessive reactions from audiences and this extreme race focus make my little nephew ask "Uncle, what is wrong with black people? Why are they not normal"? And then I have to explain to him that they are normal. Without these reactions he wouldn't even ask himself this question. All we learn at home is to think in people. Black people have achieved everything there is to achieve in the world and are everywhere, in every thinkable position, function and talent. This role of Glinda is one of the last roles in the world that just not happened to have a person of color yet. In many other roles and companies the percentage of poc is much higher than the actual population, especially in tv and film there is a huge overrepresentation but both examples should not matter anymore. When do you think there will be a point when these campaigners will experience a complete turnaround and start treating people as equals and there will be some kind of contentment? Because honestly, I'm waiting for it. Because that turnaround is the beginning of equality.

Black Glinda
Posted by JBC3 2019-01-11 19:03:59


Representation matters.

Black Glinda
Posted by Dave28282 2019-01-11 19:06:12


Indeed, and everything is represented now. Can we now move on to equality?

Black Glinda
Posted by VintageSnarker 2019-01-11 19:08:15


I think this is a fantastic moment for this actress and for anyone inspired by seeing her on stage. But I do feel like we should acknowledge that there are certain characters who are cast as beautiful, usually blond, and thin white girls for a reason regardless of whether race is an acknowledged part of the story. Off the top of my head... Galinda/Glinda in Wicked, Regina George in Mean Girls, Heather Chandler in Heathers, Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, Amber von Tussle in Hairspray. These stories are commenting on privilege. 

Black Glinda
Posted by LesWickedly 2019-01-11 19:09:19


I think wed all love to move on to equality. Lets hope we get 20, 30 more POC playing Glinda and it just becomes the norm, but shes the first and thats cause for celebration. In a country built on racism and a business with systematic racism, its a victory.

Black Glinda
Posted by Dave28282 2019-01-11 19:17:05


LesWickedly said: "I think wed all love to move on to equality. Lets hope we get 20, 30 more POC playing Glinda and it just becomes the norm, but shes the first and thats cause for celebration. In a country built on racism and a business with systematic racism, its a victory."

I totally agree. 

Because this victimization can not be the right path. In any case, it is not moving towards equality.

I'm glad that in terms of roles, there will be no more victories left soon. 

Black Glinda
Posted by Dave28282 2019-01-11 19:27:19


VintageSnarker said: "I think this is a fantastic moment for this actress and for anyone inspired by seeing her on stage. But I do feel like we should acknowledge that there are certain characters who are cast as beautiful, usuallyblond, and thinwhite girls for a reason regardless of whether race is an acknowledged part of the story. Off the top of my head... Galinda/Glinda in Wicked, Regina George in Mean Girls, Heather Chandler in Heathers, Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, Amber von Tussle in Hairspray. These stories are commenting on privilege."

That's an interesting point indeed, because if we teach our children that poc are victims, or need more sympathy, it is safe to say that we create a generation that is more unlikely to see a black girl as equal or believable in a role as someone "priviledged". Maybe in 30 years this has changed when we stopped teaching our children that, but I sometimes feel that in today's climate audiences aren't ready yet, seeing the reactions to this casting for example. Also, in the basis there is nothing wrong with casting in a way that is most recognizable for the majority of society. We can't try to teach our children one thing and the expect them to understand the opposite in casting. Also, color counting in general is quite toxic, both ways. Any scenario should be possible, not every project has to include everything.

Black Glinda
Posted by LesWickedly 2019-01-11 19:33:01


Victimization: noun

the action of singling someone out for cruel or unjust treatment.

If you think the community has been treating her cruelly then I am at a loss. Here’s her great and lovely post on the matter: https://www.instagram.com/p/BsgWkRehCVo/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=iakp7ukqe6f3

Done trying to change your mind as you are obviously very set in your ways and I hope this thread isn’t shut down as I’d love to hear reports from tonight's show. 

Black Glinda
Posted by Dave28282 2019-01-11 19:44:18


Thanks for your input too! This is a nice, respectful discussion.

Lovely post of the actress too. Good for her.

What I meant by the victimization is what I explained earlier in this thread, but she doesn't even seem to realize this or care about this herself.

I guess the time is just not right yet. But we are really running out of victories, so a change in mindset is unavoidable, which is fantastic for the road to equality.
 

Black Glinda
Posted by robskynyc 2019-01-11 19:59:49


Elfuhbuh said: "Im sorry, but there is no way JK Rowling had a racially mysterious Hermione in mind when she wrote those books. Shes only saying that now because she saw some fans suggesting Hermione could be black a couple years before Cursed Child was a thing and was like, Yeah! However the fans want to interpret her, etc., etc. But she did approve the cover art, she did describe Hermiones face as white in one scene, and she implied Hermione got a tan during vacation in Prizoner of Azkaban, indicating that her skin isnt usually a darker shade. I dont mind the idea of a black Hermione, but many people are giving JK Rowling too much credit by claiming she always envisioned Hermione as being a blank slate when it comes to her race."

 

my BIGGEST problem with them casting a black Hermione was that it was obviously done just for the sake of press. they cast an older harry that looked like young harry... an adult Ron that looked like young Ron.... mcgonahal who looked younger... etc. everyone was cast to look like their young movie counterpart except for her. it was kind of jarring and it took me out of the story to be honest. why not make Ron asian? or make harry black? 

 

Black Glinda
Posted by Plannietink08 2019-01-12 08:28:00


Can we sidestep the Harry Potter discussion and get back to discussing the topic at hand.

There's a bootleg on YouTube of Brittney Johnson's first 'No One Mourns The Wicked' and she sounds FAB! Her voice is gorgeous and she doesn't sound at all nervous. The entrance applause she received was incredible as was the fact her first line was "it's good to see me, isn't it?" to which people in the audience shouted "YES" 

I can't wait to see how she improves in the role and I really hope she gets promoted soon.

Black Glinda
Posted by Dave28282 2019-01-12 08:42:35


She is indeed great! Very beautiful voice and indeed, doesn't sound nervous at all for a first performance!

Black Glinda
Posted by ClumsyDude15 2019-01-12 10:08:17


I have been a fan of Brittney since I saw her as Eponine in Les Mis awhile back and I had always said she should play a princess specifically Tiana in a Princess and the Frog musical. Last night, I got to watch her be a princess and while it was yet another big moment in Wicked and Broadway history, it was a fantastic night for a truly fantastic actress.

Everything Brittney did as Glinda was wonderful - she wonderfully brought Galinda to Glinda in a fantastic arc. She never overdid anything and everything she did was spot on. Her chemistry with the company was wonderful and she and Jessica proved to be quite the pair.

Her voice is stunning and she made the vocal theatrics of Glinda seem effortless. Her Thank Goodness was incredible and hearing her sing the bridge about dreams and what you want got me.

I am so glad I took the chance to go see her and when she does go on again I cant recommend highly enough going.

I also just want to add that regardless of the historic nature of this turn of events, Brittney gave one of the best Glinda performances I've seen in my time seeing Wicked. Yes, the moment is historic for Wicked and Broadway, but tonight a fantastic understudy got to come and go by bubble and killed it.

Black Glinda
Posted by John Adams 2019-01-12 10:49:08


LesWickedly said: "Dave, you make some interesting points but I still don't understand why you think it's wrong to celebrate her race."

Because if/when the day comes that it's universally acknowledged that race is never a factor when it comes to opportunities in life, then the struggle for equality will truly be over.

Theres a kind of "dog chasing its tail" situation when it comes to trying to demonstrate the progress made toward equal opportunity. Dave's perspective/view (recognizing and acknowledging the talents of the actor vs the color of their skin) is a very positive, forward-moving perspective in terms of eliminating racial bias.

On the other hand, people want and need to see their likenesses equally represented (JBS3's comment, 'Representation matters'.  That doesn't happen enough, so when it does, there's cause for celebration.

The vicious circle happens because there are two ideals in play: one of equal opportunity and one of representation. 

Unfortunately, the two ideals cancel each other out. To demonstrate equality or an absence of bias, you have to eliminate race and see people as individuals; by their talents and skills only. But then (after equality is demonstrated) acknowledging the representation deletes the absence of bias because there's a celebration based on skin color/ethnic background/gender/minority group, etc... 

Black Glinda
Posted by rodrigo_ca 2019-01-12 16:09:45


bdn223 said:There is no mention of Skin color in any of the Harry Potter Books regarding Hermione....It's actually one of the thorns any of the fans have against JK Rowling for retconning Harry Potter lore and characters to make the books seem more progressive then they are. The original covers of theHarry Potter and the Prisonerof Askabanhave Harry and Hermione riding on ahippogriffon the cover and she is not black.... If it was JK Rowling's true intention for the character to be black she would of vetoed the cover art. As someone who works in Publishing, I can tell you JK Rowling had final approval on her cover art. But I digress.

She was not allowed to use her own name on the cover of her book but she would have final approval of the cover? hahahaha

Black Glinda
Posted by GiantsInTheSky2 2019-01-12 17:31:10


All I know is that she is gorgeous and sounds wonderful as Glinda. Her Thank Goodness made me tear up. I sincerely hope she gets promoted to lead when KRC departs. Its always nice to get some fresh blood in the Wicked cast.

Black Glinda
Posted by Dave28282 2019-01-12 19:28:00


Very well said John Adams, you explained the situation perfectly.

I also think we are really running out of victories, poc can be found in everything, so there comes a point when insisting that one race is inferior is no longer appropriate. I think Glinda was the last role on Broadway that just didn't happen to have a diverse casting yet. After this, what's next? Is it really only a victory when every role in existence is played by every race? I hope in the future we have situations that not every race is included in everything, because it simply should not matter. That's a victory. I think this essential change in mindset will break this vicious circle. 

Black Glinda
Posted by phan24 2019-01-12 19:38:58


Dave28282 said: "Very well said John Adams, you explained the situation perfectly.

I also think we are really running out of victories, poccan be found in everything,so there comes a point when insisting that one race is inferior is no longer appropriate. I think Glinda was the last role on Broadway that just didn't happen to have a diverse casting yet. After this, what's next? Is it really only a victory when every role in existence is played by every race?I hope in the future we have situations that not every race is included in everything, because it simply should not matter. That's a victory.I think this essential change in mindset will break this vicious circle.
"

I assume you’re white?

Black Glinda
Posted by Dave28282 2019-01-12 20:08:35


Actually, I'm mixed. But that has nothing to do with the point John Adams explains so perfectly.

Because as long as we don't get out of this vicious circle, there will never be true equality.

But like I said, that time seems to come closer now, when there are no victories left.

Black Glinda
Posted by JBC3 2019-01-12 20:50:17


He is definitely tiring.

Black Glinda
Posted by QueenTwinnied 2019-01-12 23:43:00


So I got to see Brittney Johnson's debut last Thursday and was absolutely blown away by her performance. I bought the ticket on a whim to see Jessica and Katie together, but literally gasped when I saw Brittney's name on the cast board. From the moment Brittney came down in the bubble I knew this would be an incredible, special performance. The crowd gave her a huge, extended applause (and a few loud cheers). Her NOMTW was by far the most beautiful I've seen vocally. Brittney has a stunning, clear vibrato. 

Brittney's wig was a darker strawberry blonde, so there weren't any line changes in What is this Feeling. Her acting and comedy were on-point, but not over the top campy like some previous Glinda actresses. 

Her Thank Goodness was absolutely divine. Her belt was soaring and the final note was clear as a bell. Some of the lines ("Happy is what happens when all your dreams come true" were especially poignant and beautifully delivered. She also threw in a beautiful little riff during For Good. 

I don't have enough good things to say about Brittney's debut. I hope one day she gets to lead the Broadway company because she has the voice and acting chops. She is probably my favorite Glinda overall. Getting to see such a historic performance was a real treat and is a night I'll never forget. 

Black Glinda
Posted by HeyMrMusic 2019-01-13 01:32:12


I dont know, I still like to celebrate when women are successful in jobs that arent gender specific because they get fewer opportunities even though theres no shortage of talented women. Even if we run out of firsts, its still cool to celebrate their accomplishments.

Weve had women win Tony Awards for Best Play, Best Score, Best Direction of a Play and Musical... but how often do we actually see women being featured in these capacities on Broadway? We should absolutely be allowed to celebrate Cyndi Lauper for being the first woman to win Best Score by herself, and ditto Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron for being the first female writing team to win. We simply dont see women being allowed to create work, even though there are so many itching to get seen and produced and acknowledged.

Now, what about performers of color? Well, there is also no shortage of talented performers of color, and yet there are fewer opportunities for them to shine, whether you want to believe that or not. Weve only had two Asian women win Tony Awards for musical performances ever (Lea Salonga and Ruthie Ann Miles). There has been zero Asian women nominated for Best Actress at the Oscars. Constance Wu is the first Asian woman nominated for Best Actress in a Comedy at the Golden Globes. And now here is Brittney Johnson breaking barriers and earning her opportunity, and were supposed to only celebrate her for being good and not because shes good AND black? People are allowed to be proud of who they are, what makes them different, and for being the first to do something. Dont steal that joy from her and an entire community of people.

Black Glinda
Posted by Dave28282 2019-01-13 06:01:45


That's not really a good comparison. Nobody displays this kind of reaction when a woman plays a role on Broadway. Because it's normal. Now, with Glinda basically being the last of all roles on Broadway that just didn't happen to have poc actor yet, it has now. So basically this is the end of an era, and everything has been done now, which is the beginning of normalization. So just like with women, when everything has been done, there comes a time when color counting or gender counting just isn't appropriate anymore. We need to learn that many things can just be, without being the result of color or gender counting. 

Black Glinda
Posted by ViniFromBrazil 2019-01-13 07:40:30


Whenever I'm lurking around the board to see what's up because I only travel to NYC twice a year, I always get sad and tired to see a topic in which Dave is in. So much visual pollution.

Black Glinda
Posted by steven22 2019-01-13 09:00:28


I didnt get a chance to see Brittney this past week when she was on. Anyone know if she has any upcoming planned dates?

Black Glinda
Posted by HeyMrMusic 2019-01-13 10:31:58


There are still many things women and POC havent been able to do, and at the very least dont get the same amounts of opportunities to do them as white men, so I will continue to celebrate and spread joy when something like this happens. If that makes me a horrible person, so be it.

Black Glinda
Posted by qolbinau 2019-01-14 07:04:02


Shocking that it has been 15 years and no black Glinda....I am dubious sometimes when people look at outcomes and assume discrimination has occurred when we ignore things like what are the demographics of people auditioning for roles, writing musical scores etc. However, in 15 years to have no black Glinda at all means that it is highly likely the casting for this role has been intentionally excluding black people.

It is nice to see that the mold has finally been broken. I personally would want to revisit the show with two black leads if I could - might breathe some life into the show that is becoming a little tired for me these days.