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re: Bennett's original setting for "Story of Lucy and Jessie" was a minstrel show.
Last Edit: PlayWiz 12:27 pm EST 02/07/19
Posted by: PlayWiz 12:24 pm EST 02/07/19
In reply to: Bennett's original setting for "Story of Lucy and Jessie" was a minstrel show. - Delvino 08:13 pm EST 02/06/19

One of the most singular aspects of that original staging is that all the chorus members are facing upstage the entire number, so that the star, resplendent in red, leggy and looking absolutely gorgeous, is given even more focus. She works hard dancing and all those ensemble members, working hard, too are working their butts off. If someone wants to posit a thesis about minstrel shows, feel free, but I don't know if minstrel shows featured a white star (without blackface) on the same stage as those who were either black (or white using blackface), who was working as hard at the dancing as the ensemble. Taken another way, as I've been into "Lady in the Dark" recently with all its psychological issues, and that these "Follies" numbers are supposed to represent dreams/nightmares/unsaid truths about the characters, it could be that these faceless supporting ensemble people represent the powerful, dancing, as yet not brought to the surface and yes, faceless impulses that are swirling about in Phyllis' unconscious and the oversized "butterfingers" represent letting life's opportunities slipping away. Go ahead, I dated the head of my school's debate team, and I learned anything could be argued. :)
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