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Romeo & Juliet Gets A Meltingpot Makeover on Broadway (& You Can Win Free Tix to See it!)

Sparks will Fly in this staging of Romeo & Juliet!

Sparks will fly in this staging of Romeo & Juliet!

Hi Meltingpot Readers,

Did you know a new version of Romeo & Juliet was about to hit Broadway? And that in this new version, Romeo is White and Juliet is Black? And wait for it, Romeo is being played by the too delicious Orlando Bloom and Juliet is being portrayed by the ridiculously talented and supremely gorgeous Condola Rashad (Yes, that’s Phylicia “Claire Huxtable” Rashad’s daughter.)? I don’t know about you, but I always imagined that the type of hatred between the Montagues and the Capulets to be racially motivated. That was only way for me to wrap my teenage brain around their rivalry. According to the director, David Leveaux, his staging of the Shakespeare classic isn’t going to turn the show into a race war, but he’s not going to ignore the race of the two families – the Capulets will be all Black and the Montagues White. This Romeo and Juliet will have a modern setting, but Shakespeare’s original language will be retained. Previews for the show begin on August 24. The show officially opens on September 19.

When asked about why he chose to cast a Black Juliet opposite a White Romeo, Leveaux told the New York Times,  “They could have been any number of different ethnicities, [but] the two actors I wanted to be together producing sparks just happened to be those two and I followed my nose in casting the families.” Ms. Meltingpot says bravo! Give the audience the best actors for the job, don’t ignore their racial differences and let the show go on.

I, for one, am really looking forward to seeing this show. And one of you lucky readers gets to see it too. That’s right. One of my readers will win a pair of tickets to see Romeo & Juliet on Broadway to be used on any Tuesday – Thursday performance in September! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite interracial romantic couple from literature or film. It’s that easy. I’ll pick the winner on Thursday evening August 22 at 8pm, so make sure you leave your comment before then. The winner will be announced on Friday’s post.

I’ll tell you my favorite interracial couple, but you probably already guessed. Aida and Radamés, of course. Your turn. I’m so listening.

Peace!

Fela! on Broadway: Hurry And Go See It!

Hi Meltingpot Readers,

I know you’re dying to know. How was Fela! on Broadway? People, it was AMAZING. I laughed. I cried. I danced. I fell in love with the music.

Even if you don’t win a free pair of tickets from me, I encourage everyone to go see Fela! on Broadway before it closes on August 4, 2012.

The reviewers haven’t lied. The show is vibrant and thrilling. At one point, before the second act even, the entire audience was on their feet, dancing and singing with the actors on stage. If you love world music, a good story, and fabulous dancing, Fela! will satisfy.

But here’s why I LOVED the show so much. Fela Kuti has a truly fascinating and important life story. His contribution to music, politics, civil rights and the Black aesthetic is so huge, I can’t believe more people, myself included, don’t include him in the same conversations with Malcolm X, Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. He used his art as protest. But make no mistake, he was an innovative and groundbreaking musician first. Clearly the show on Broadway didn’t get into all of the controversy of Fela Kuti’s life, after all, it’s about entertainment first, but nonetheless, they give you enough information to make you want to know more. To come home and find out for yourself who the man behind the music really was.

The other reason I loved the show was that there were just so many beautiful Black people on the stage.  The African aesthetic was on full display, from the brilliant costumes, to the set design, to the AWESOME hairstyles. Afros, dreds, braids, oh my! It made my heart sing.

So, dear readers, you have until midnight tonight to leave a comment on Monday’s postto be entered in the drawing. Five lucky readers will win a pair of tickets for next Tuesday’s show.

Good Luck!

Peace!