Musical theatre tends to be dominated by whiteness. White characters breed white casting and white schooling in a positive feedback loop that has excluded artists of color for as long as the industry is old.
My fingertips were first rolled in what felt like an ink stamp pad. The artist then pressed a cold drawing utensil to the skin of my left arm. I sat there, sterile, removed from my own body and experience. My left arm stuck through the wall, vulnerable to the gallery’s cool air.
The atmosphere before Saturday night’s Minnesota Orchestra concert at Hill Auditorium was electric. The orchestra was dressed in white-tie attire, the choir in black ties. This was the University Musical Society’s first performance of the decade in Hill Auditorium.
“Falsettos” tells the story of a posse of dysfunctional adults who, as announced in the opening number “Four Jews in a Room Bitching,” are united in their shared background and struggle to piece together their own version of an ideal middle-class family.
When an orchestra finishes a musical performance, there’s usually a moment of silence and stillness. The musicians hoist their bows in the air, lift reeds and mouthpieces from lips and lift drumsticks off the kettles.