Theater archives

A Streetcar Named Multicultural Is Coming


A black Stanley Kowalski?

Well, why not? We had a black Maggie the Cat just a few years ago.

And at a meet-and-greet for the Streetcar Named Desire of color (with the white folks living next door) coming to Broadway, director Emily Mann gave us the reasons.

“I knew Tennessee Williams and loved him,” she said.

“He tried to get a production of color on Broadway since the ’50s,” she added.

“This takes place in a part of the French Quarter [of New Orleans] where the races intermingle freely.

“The first image [of the play] is a black woman and a white woman talking on the stoop.”

People of color did really own plantations and owned slaves, Mann added for background.

OK, so I was sold on all that readily enough. I’m easy!

But how about the fact that some of the actors are way older than their characters?

I mean, 47-year-old Blair Underwood is playing Stanley Kowalski, who the script describes as “28 or 30.” I can only suspend my disbelief so far!

Well, I talked to Underwood and I didn’t have the nerve to bring up the question. Besides, it wasn’t the least bit necessary.

Looking into his dreamy, unhampered-by-time face, I realized it’s not going to be a problem at all!