To the audiences thronging recent New York productions of The Common Pursuit and Clybourne Park, any effort by the playwrights to make a “just distribution of good and evil” would surely have seemed both unpalatable and dishonest. And the revival of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man [sic] shows the dangers of labeling choices and characters too confidently.
Posts Tagged ‘National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’
“In a Conventional Dither”: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Camouflaged Critique of Race Relations at Mid-Century
During the three-year stretch in which Richard Rodgers’ and Oscar Hammerstein II’s South Pacific and The King and I reached the Broadway stage, theatrical expressions of support for the equality of black and white were a dicey proposition, courting charges of Communist sympathies. And yet in these two musicals, lyricist and librettist Hammerstein found a way to voice that support. However, in keeping with the times as well as his temperament, he did so by indirection, and also with what might be called camouflage: presenting the “destabilizing” message about race relations in a matrix that included remarkably conventional and reassuring, even retrograde, messages concerning the relations of the sexes and colonialism.
Political Correctness is an antibody that attaches itself to your diseased discourse and protects the American immune system.