BBC West Facet Story Promenade recasts Maria after ‘whitewashing’ backlash (News)


Mikaela Bennett

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Getty Photographs

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Mikaela Bennett will play Maria

Mikaela Bennett will play Maria within the BBC Proms manufacturing of West Facet Story, it has been introduced.

It is after the present’s earlier star, Sierra Boggess, withdrew from the function over complaints of “whitewashing”.

She wrote on Fb on the time: “If I have been to do that live performance, it might as soon as once more deny Latinas the chance to sing this rating, in addition to deny the significance of seeing themselves represented onstage.

“That might be an enormous mistake.”

Canadian-born Bennett has beforehand carried out excerpts from West Facet Story with the New York Philharmonic for his or her Younger Peoples Live performance sequence.

She is going to now tackle the function of Maria, who’s Puerto Rican, within the BBC manufacturing, organised to mark the centenary of composer Leonard Bernstein’s beginning.

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Getty Photographs

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Boggess performed Maria within the BBC Promenade’s West Facet Story in 2012

The character of Maria was made well-known by Natalie Wooden, an American actress of Russian descent, within the 1961 movie model.

Boggess pulled out of the BBC manufacturing in April after a number of Twitter customers voiced their considerations over her casting.

One user wrote: “Sierra Boggess mustn’t play Maria in West Facet Story. Natalie Wooden should not have performed her both. Maria is a Puerto Rican character.”

“Disillusioned, however by no means stunned that we have now but once more one other occasion of whitewashing characters in theatre.”

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Natalie Wooden starred as Maria within the 1961 West Facet Story movie, Maria’s singing voice was offered by Marni Nixon

West Facet Story might be carried out on the Royal Albert Corridor on 11 August and broadcast dwell on BBC Radio 3.

Learn extra: A turning level for Hollywood whitewashing?

The brand new forged additionally contains Ross Lekites, who will play Tony, and Eden Espinosa, greatest identified for starring in Depraved, who will play Anita.

Leo Roberts, from the West Finish manufacturing Evita, will play Riff and Gian Marco Schiaretti joins the forged as Bernardo.

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