Wednesday, April 25, 2018

About West Side Story

The singer Sierra Boggess has pulled out of a forthcoming concert performance of West Side Story, in which she was due to play Maria, because she’s not of Hispanic heritage. Since about half the cast of the show are supposed to be Puerto Rican, this could be interesting.

Meanwhile, the actor Hank Azaria has said he’s thinking of stepping aside from the role of Apu in The Simpsons, because he’s not Indian. But a little brisk Googling reveals that Mr Azaria is a Sephardi Jew who can trace his ancestry back to the Ladino-speakers who were booted out of Spain in 1492. So, since he’s to some extent Hispanic, maybe he could play Maria.

(Yikes, I just remembered, I was riffing on this theme more than a decade ago.)


savannah said...

You just made me laugh out loud re: Azaria playing Maria! it is interesting to me that you were writing about this theme in '07! After my own post today, I am grateful that other people are thinking about ethnic identities not only in America, but across the pond. xo

Roger Allen said...

That attitude would make productions of Wagner's Ring Cycle even more difficult - finding real gods that can sing!