Al Jolson - without blacking up
Gosh! This is a bit edgy! A guy dressed in a diaper. But he is B.L.A.C.K.. And that Jesus, he's a bit Gay. I am totally confused and my white liberal sensitivities are jarring as I write. Some things are OK and some things are not. I do find it very hard to keep up with what I am supposed to cheer and what I am supposed to boo.
This week in Edinburgh sees the opening of Jolson & Co, a bio-musical of Al Jolson, who famously was in the first "talkie". Jolson was a white Jew who favoured the not unusual stage image of a "blacked up" negro.
Except that in this production, the Jolson character will not wear black face paint because, said the producer, "In this day and age we are not out to offend anyone".
Now, correct me if I am wrong, but I don't remember this level of sensitivity being brought to bear on "Jerry Springer, the Opera"
When those who work in the arts tell us they are not out to "offend" anyone, you need to be afraid, very afraid.
Posted by Wrinkled Weasel on Thursday, February 19, 2009