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re: What Margo Jefferson said about Caroline Or Change reminds us of how different the theater would be if there were Black women critics
Posted by: Chazwaza 11:56 am EDT 08/20/19
In reply to: re: What Margo Jefferson said about Caroline Or Change reminds us of how different the theater would be if there were Black women critics - ablankpage 09:11 am EDT 08/20/19

I agree. And I'll say something controversial now... I fear that with this show coming back to the spotlight, in 2020, there will be critics and social commentators (including twitter etc) who will be looking for and seeing this show specifically to find reasons two white people should not have been writing this show (even though more than half the characters including the male lead are white, and based on Kushner's family and younger self and his experience)... and to justify that they will have to dismiss and minimize what is clearly there in the writing in terms of "authenticity" and the layers and nuances given to Caroline and Dottie and Emmie.
I hope this doesn't happen, but we are in a super duper trigger happy time when it is not theoretically socially or culturally permissible for anyone to tell a story that isn't completely their own experience (even though it still happens all the time - I mean, the TV show Empire is run by a white guy, the same white guy who wrote The Butler of all movies - but one never can tell who or what the internet at large will take issue with at any given moment). And it's one thing that it's Kushner's childhood and Caroline is a woman he had this relationship with for years... but Tesori is also white and wasn't there and didn't know any of them. I think her work on this show is some of the best scoring/musical theater composing in many decades, some of the best ever, but I would not be surprised if this is noted by some commentators.

And yes I acknowledge that I am a white man saying this, and that I may be shortsighted about what is or isn't missing in Caroline or Change. But I know this show very well, and nuances are the last thing missing in the writing of Caroline's character. I'm open to examples proving the contrary though.
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