BlackOut On Broadway!

After the grand premiere of Grease Live and its wonderful rainbow of a cast, I realized that in the last couple of years there has been a significant influx of roles for people of color on the theatrical stage.

The most obvious and talked about example would be Hamilton. If you haven’t heard of it, well it’s time you jumped on board. Hamilton is the story of one of our nation’s founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton. And I know what you’re thinking, “That sounds boring!” Well did I mention that Hamilton is a musical? And not just any musical. It’s a musical that included a slew of people for all types of background.

Lin-Manuel Miranda is the man who orchestrated it all and he also stars as Hamilton on the Broadway production. Miranda’s main goal in the casting of the play was to do blind auditions. He wanted his play to have a cast that reflected the current population of the United States, and I’d say he got his goal.

Although Hamilton has the biggest buzz for ushering roles for people of color, it’s not the only thing on Broadway doing this.

There’s the story of Aladdin, which I’m sure you are all familiar with thanks to Disney. Although we’re all very familiar with the great Robin Williams who voice Genie in the animated story, we can’t ignore who got cast in this role for the Broadway performance.

James Monroe Iglehart did an outstanding performance that did the memory of Genie well.

You’ll even be able to catch some color in the famed Shakespeare play, Romeo, and Juliet. And yeah, the newest showing of it has Orlando Bloom, but what I’m really interested in is Juliet and her Capulets.

Juliet is played by Condola Rashaad and her entire Capulet family was black. This was Shakespeare’s dramatic story with a modern twist and while it got some mixed reviews, it still had pretty high ratings overall. It was staged in 2013, but don’t worry because it’s also been adapted into a movie.

These plays and more have started popping up all over the palace and it’s refreshing to see Broadway embracing people of color and putting them in roles that don’t fit a clique. So if you were iffy about the theater before, I’m here to tell you that it's changing, and it’s changing for the better!