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NYTimes Injets Race Into Review -- and Omits Key Facts 
Posted by: MRH 02:27 pm EDT 04/20/21

In her review of an all-black Last Five Years, Maya Phillips writes:  "For one, a Black Cathy and Jamie feel like a novelty, given how many productions cast white leads by default."

I'm not sure if this production contains the songs "Shiksa Goddess" or the "Shmuel Song" -- but if it does -- or Ms. Phillips knows the show -- I'd say there's a pretty good reason why the role of Jamie is usually cast as white, given that the character is Jewish, and the reality is that there are a very small number of Black Jews.

But you definitely wouldn't know that from her revue, which implies racism is the reason.  If there was a character in a musical that the songs implied was Black, would this ever be written if a white actor was cast?  You know the answer.

This only applies to the character of Jamie, not Cathy, but Phillips clearly implies that these casting decisions have been made because of race, rather than the demands of the show as written.

And it's interesting that Jews automatically count as "white" -- because it's perfectly fine to erase their peoplehood and status as a minority, and lash them into the group of 'white' oppressors -- despite the fact that hate crimes against Jews are literally at record highs across the country.

And in the same review -- she points out there was a benefit with two Black actors at a major venue...
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