New production of The Glass Menagerie increases Broadway's disability representation

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The article says the reviews are “largely positive” but FWIW the two I heard about–not because I follow Broadway from a thousand miles away, but because they were so vehement–are from Rex Reed and the NYT, and they’re pretty scathing. And mostly for reasons other than the casting of Ferris as Laura.

It doesn’t surprise me in the least that Rex Reed would pan this. I knew he would before I even read his review, and I wish I hadn’t read his review, because it only cemented my disappointment with him and with humanity in general. Fuck Rex Reed and his little opinions.

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[shrug emoji] I report, you decide.

The whole question of disability visibility, and how it jibes with a play in which a main character has a disability but not that disability… that’s… whew. A tough one.

I mean, I get that it’d be silly to cast only actors with one (real) withered leg in that role, and I get that theater often requires a degree of verisimilitude, and I get that in some plays it really doesn’t, and I get that in a “memory play” (whatever that means) it might be one or the other, and I get that by definition being an actor (able-bodied or otherwise) is being someone you are not, and I get that the script is sacrosanct, and I get that the script is a suggestion, and I get that this is very much like the question of cross-gender, or cross-racial, or age-blind casting, but also that it’s not very much like those things. And I get that this is exploitative stunt casting by Gold, and I get that Gold was absolutely morally bound to do this, and… yeesh. Smarter people than me will figure it out. (Hopefully before this thread closes!)

A memory play is where one character narrates the play as events that have happened in the past.

I don’t think it is. Disabled actors should play disabled characters.

Rex Reed is horrifically ableist. I don’t know which disabled person hurt him in the past, but come on, this is a recurring pattern with him.

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I was more citing the range of arguments (compare with the next phrase) than trying to endorse any of them. I don’t get to see much theater and only once on Broadway in the last 20 years (King Charles III, not too shabby!) so Reed isn’t really on my radar.

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