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Art by Jason Simon

Token Theatre Friends: Dominique Morisseau Wants More Diverse Audiences

The playwright discusses making her Broadway writing debut with ‘Ain’t Too Proud,’ plus the Friends review ‘Kiss Me, Kate’ and ‘La Celestina.’

Twice a month on the Token Theatre Friends video series and podcast, theatre critics (and theatre besties) Jose Solís and Diep Tran bring a POC perspective to the performing arts.

This week they talk to playwright (and certified genius) Dominique Morisseau (Detroit ‘67, Paradise Blue, Pipeline) about her book for Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations. The Detroit native grew up listening to the legendary Motown band and incorporated her love of them into a book celebrating their legacy and observing changes in American society during the 1960s. Morisseau is the only female writer of color to have a musical on Broadway during the 2018-19 season (and only the third woman of color ever to write the book for a musical on the Great White Way), and she talks to the Friends about representation and redefining proper theatre etiquette.

The audio of the interview is also available on the podcast, where the Friends review two shows currently playing in New York City:

Kiss Me, Kate by Cole Porter, Sam and Bella Spewack, at Roundabout through June 30 ($59 – $352) After finally winning a Tony for The King and I, Kelli O’Hara is back on Broadway in another potentially problematic revival. This time she stars in the classic spin on The Taming of the Shrew that gave us tunes like “So in Love” and “Brush Up Your Shakespeare.” But does yet another take on Shrew work in the era of #MeToo?

La Celestina by Fernando de Rojas at Repertorio Español through May 17 ($17 – $72). Perhaps the most important play of the Spanish Golden Age gets a modern revival (DJs! Gender-bending casting! Denim!), powered by Zulema Clares’ performance in the title role: that of a misunderstood procuress, who paved the way for other stage female antiheroes.

And at the end of the show, Jose has an exciting new announcement: He’s launched a website for writers of color to review theatre!

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Have comments, suggestions for segments, shows to plug, or thoughts on how the Friends can be even better? Contact the Token Theatre Friends via email or Twitter.

Download the episode here.

Subscribe to Token Theatre Friends videos on YouTube.

Have comments, suggestions for segments, shows to plug, or thoughts on how the Friends can be even better? Contact the Token Theatre Friends via email or Twitter.

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