Woody Allen produced Cotton Club play has no black actors
Woody Allen’s “Bullets Over Broadway” opens Thursday night in New York City. The musical is based on the Cotton Club, a New York nightclub based in Harlem back in the early 20th century.
Despite the club being rooted in African American history, Allen hired no black actors for the production.
A source tells Confidenti@l that’s because Allen specifically requested there be no black gangsters in his musical, though it isn’t clear why Allen chose that route.
“Everyone’s white at Woody’s Cotton Club and in the gangster numbers,” says our well-placed Broadway insider. “Casting was considering a big-name African-American actor for the play, but Woody passed because he just got the idea that a black gangster wouldn’t be good. One man wasn’t asked back and then was told it was Woody who didn’t want any black gangsters.”
The only nonwhite actor in the entire production is Kelcy Griffin, who appears in a dance ensemble.
Allen has been criticized for not featuring many homosexuals in his films.
What’s the solution to ensuring that black history is accurately portrayed on stage?
Do blacks need to just make their own productions?
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