Kristin Chenoweth in The King & I

CalebMeyer
Understudy
joined:8/1/12
Understudy
joined:
8/1/12
jv92 Profile Photojv92 Profile Photo
jv92
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
11/4/05
Kristin Chenoweth in The King & I#2
Posted: 8/21/12 at 6:08pm
Not ideal casting, but at least in this she's not the self-charichature she is today.

CalebMeyer
Understudy
joined:8/1/12
Understudy
joined:
8/1/12
Kristin Chenoweth in The King & I#2
Posted: 8/21/12 at 6:15pm
True. There's always something just so unsettling when white people are cast in ethnic roles. If ya ain't got the right cast, then don't do the show.
GavestonPS Profile PhotoGavestonPS Profile Photo
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/10/12
Kristin Chenoweth in The King & I#3
Posted: 8/21/12 at 6:15pm
By bizarre I assume you mean that their classroom map is based on the Winkel tripel projection, first proposed by Oscar Winkel in 1921, and commonly used today

Anna would have used the Mercator Projection, a more Euro-centric map that dates to the 16th century.

Very bizarre, indeed!
Musicaldudepeter
Broadway Star
joined:3/18/10
Broadway Star
joined:
3/18/10
Kristin Chenoweth in The King & I#4
Posted: 8/21/12 at 6:23pm
Caleb, the reason colleges and schools do musicals and plays is to give their students a chance to perform good, strong theatre material and to give them the opportunity to grow as singers/actors, etc., it's not necessarily about getting the casting balance right, skin-color-wise
GavestonPS Profile PhotoGavestonPS Profile Photo
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/10/12
Kristin Chenoweth in The King & I#5
Posted: 8/21/12 at 6:28pm
And neither Chenowith nor her co-star seem to be playing racial stereotypes. They are just playing parts that are different from themselves.

I can't speak for Asians, but this, while not ideal, doesn't necessarily bother me.
CalebMeyer
Understudy
joined:8/1/12
Understudy
joined:
8/1/12
Kristin Chenoweth in The King & I#6
Posted: 8/21/12 at 7:49pm
Well darlings, I find it offensive. A difference of opinion, but bizarre nonetheless, if not just for seeing Cheno at such a young age. You can see those comedic chops aching to break through. But M.IA. is her famous vein. I wonder if she had it then.
Wynbish Profile PhotoWynbish Profile Photo
Wynbish
Broadway Legend
joined:4/27/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/27/12
Kristin Chenoweth in The King & I#7
Posted: 8/21/12 at 8:01pm
I personally have a double standard about these types of things. It doesn't bother me when The King and I or The Mikado is performed with a non-Asian cast, but I can't stand to see the same thing in Pacific Overtures and Flower Drum Song.

And don't even get me started on a white Aida
JohnyBroadway
Broadway Legend
joined:4/10/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/10/12
Kristin Chenoweth in The King & I#8
Posted: 8/21/12 at 8:11pm
Most theatres see it as putting on A Rodgers and Hammerstine Classic and in most small communities those are the shows that sale well. Those audiences would care less if a Caucasian actor was playing an Asian character. They just care about the story that is being presented in front of them. and like said above it gives them the full opportunity to present a classic work. Who's to come down on them? The local or school editor of the paper. Now it would look weird in a full out commercial production where they have the resources to cast an all Asian cast and try to be as authentic as possible, but even some regional productions have done the king and I with mixed race casts.

Updated On: 8/22/12 at 08:11 PM
CalebMeyer
Understudy
joined:8/1/12
Understudy
joined:
8/1/12
Kristin Chenoweth in The King & I#9
Posted: 8/21/12 at 8:12pm
Oy Vey. I was in a production of Aida once with a white Aida. They gave her cornrows. I was mortified. The director also decided to add a ballet sequence during Not Me....it was strange.
GavestonPS Profile PhotoGavestonPS Profile Photo
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/10/12
Kristin Chenoweth in The King & I#10
Posted: 8/21/12 at 8:18pm
I personally have a double standard about these types of things. It doesn't bother me when The King and I or The Mikado is performed with a non-Asian cast, but I can't stand to see the same thing in Pacific Overtures and Flower Drum Song.

I not only agree, mine is a "triple" standard because due to our history of minstrelsy, I would feel quite differently about a "blackface" production of SHOW BOAT.

And even there I'm not entirely consistent, because I worked on a production of SHOW BOAT where director Donald Driver used the white men lifting bales behind a scrim during "Ol' Man River" to effectively "double" the black-male chorus. It wasn't technically blackface, but it achieved the same effect for that one song and I thought it was brilliant.
Almira Profile PhotoAlmira Profile Photo
Almira
Broadway Star
joined:12/6/09
Broadway Star
joined:
12/6/09
Kristin Chenoweth in The King & I#11
Posted: 8/21/12 at 8:34pm
so unsettling when white people are cast in ethnic roles.


WHITE is an ethnicity too. Its not like white people are the norm and every thing not white is ethnic..

Jesus...

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. - Eleanor Roosevelt
CalebMeyer
Understudy
joined:8/1/12
Understudy
joined:
8/1/12
Kristin Chenoweth in The King & I#12
Posted: 8/21/12 at 8:48pm
Sorry, Almira. It was an honest mistake.

Jesus...
CATSNYrevival Profile PhotoCATSNYrevival Profile Photo
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/1/04
Kristin Chenoweth in The King & I#13
Posted: 8/21/12 at 9:00pm
I feel like white is really more of a description of a clusterfu@k of different ethnic groups with fair skin, usually of European descent. It's not an actual ethnicity, but maybe I'm wrong.
Almira Profile PhotoAlmira Profile Photo
Almira
Broadway Star
joined:12/6/09
Broadway Star
joined:
12/6/09
Kristin Chenoweth in The King & I#14
Posted: 8/21/12 at 9:44pm

I'm in a pissy mood today and the white-is-the-generic-norm way of thinking, intentioned or otherwise, always rubs me the wrong way.


You meant no harm, CalebMeyer, I know.


Jesus H. Christ....
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. - Eleanor Roosevelt
GavestonPS Profile PhotoGavestonPS Profile Photo
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/10/12
Kristin Chenoweth in The King & I#15
Posted: 8/21/12 at 10:13pm
I feel like white is really more of a description of a clusterfu@k of different ethnic groups with fair skin, usually of European descent. It's not an actual ethnicity, but maybe I'm wrong.

You're not wrong, except the same can be said of Asians, obviously. Even immigrants from one country (China or India, say) come from just as varied an ethnic background as European-Americans.

Likewise, Latinos come from many different cultures. Lumping them together as one is mostly a product of Anglo-American perceptions.

But Almira's point remains that using "ethnic" to mean "non-European" (and usually it means "non-Northern-European" at that) implies that Northern Europeans are the "norm" and everyone else can be lumped into one distinguishing label.

I'm sure nobody here meant any harm. But we can still appreciate Almira's reminder.
CarlosAlberto Profile PhotoCarlosAlberto Profile Photo
CarlosAlberto
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/10
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/29/10
Kristin Chenoweth in The King & I#16
Posted: 8/21/12 at 10:22pm
Ever since Rita Moreno played the part in the movie I always felt they should only have Puerto Ricans play "Tuptim". Puerto Ricans play good Asians
GavestonPS Profile PhotoGavestonPS Profile Photo
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/10/12
Kristin Chenoweth in The King & I#17
Posted: 8/22/12 at 1:18am
Just to be clear, I expect a Broadway revival or first-class tour of THE KING AND I to use Asians in the Asian roles. But to hold colleges and high schools to the same standard would virtually eliminate the show from those venues. And I think that would be a shame.

BTW, in his later tours and to his credit, Yul Brynner was adamant that Asians be cast in the show's Asian roles. The irony, of course, was that Brynner himself was of Russian descent (though in later years he kept moving stories of his heritage eastward, closer and closer to China). So he ended up being the one non-Asian playing an Asian in his productions.

Updated On: 8/22/12 at 01:18 AM
CurtainPullDowner Profile PhotoCurtainPullDowner Profile Photo
CurtainPullDowner
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
11/4/04
Kristin Chenoweth in The King & I#18
Posted: 8/22/12 at 2:45am
She sings the sh*t out of it, he ain't too bad.
But she is in control, even as he misses the
"look at each other" cue.
Love to hear her LORD AND MASTER.
Jon
Broadway Legend
joined:2/20/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
2/20/04
Kristin Chenoweth in The King & I#19
Posted: 8/22/12 at 6:22am
Where do you draw the line? Will only actors of Middle Eastern origins be cast in Aladdin? Disney certainly took some flak for the negative Arab stereotypes in the film.
GavestonPS Profile PhotoGavestonPS Profile Photo
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/10/12
Kristin Chenoweth in The King & I#20
Posted: 8/22/12 at 5:40pm
Jon, I've had this conversation at more than one university. The bottom line is there usually isn't any one, black-and-white solution. It's more a question of wrestling with issues of representation and doing one's best to encourage diverse participation and to avoid falling into the trap of cheap stereotyping.

In other words, Chenowith as Tuptim is neither right nor wrong without a context. The relevant questions might be were there racially authentic alternatives? Did anybody look? How did Chenowith approach the role? (Respectfully and with great humanity, if you ask me, based on that one scene.)

And sometimes (especially when it comes to blackface, given our history), the answer is you set one play aside and choose another.



Updated On: 8/22/12 at 05:40 PM
henrikegerman Profile Photohenrikegerman Profile Photo
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/29/05
Kristin Chenoweth in The King & I#21
Posted: 8/22/12 at 8:30pm
Her TupTim is certainly a lot better than her Fran.
GavestonPS Profile PhotoGavestonPS Profile Photo
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/10/12
Kristin Chenoweth in The King & I#22
Posted: 8/22/12 at 8:33pm
^^^What a shame! Because I think playing Fran in full-on blackface would finally make sense of that show for me.
PalJoey Profile PhotoPalJoey Profile Photo
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/11/04
Kristin Chenoweth in The King & I#23
Posted: 8/22/12 at 10:11pm
Wait. Is this video from Funny or Die?
GavestonPS Profile PhotoGavestonPS Profile Photo
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/10/12
Kristin Chenoweth in The King & I#24
Posted: 8/22/12 at 10:39pm
In the video, Chenowith does appear to be about the same height as the little kid in "The Landlord." So maybe...