Thoughts About Pacific Overtures and Yellowface Casting

Thoughts About Pacific Overtures and Yellowface Casting.
What’s all the fuss about? Well why not read this article, might help to clarify a few things

Dan Bacalzo's Asian American Performance Site

Ian Mowat and Joel Baylis in Pacific Overtures Photo Credit: Darren Bell Ian Mowat and Joel Baylis in Pacific Overtures
Photo Credit: Darren Bell

There’s a production of the Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman musical Pacific Overtures that just opened at the Union Theatre in London that apparently – at least according to this review by Mark Shenton – does not have any Asians in the cast. Someone on Facebook reported that there might be a mixed-race person in the ensemble, but that’s it.

Now, I have not seen this production and so this is not a review. It could be utterly brilliant, and it has garnered favorable notices from the British press. I’ve also been told that this kind of yellowface casting is pretty common in the U.K. and that groups like British East Asian Artists are working to change that.

It’s not unheard of in the U.S., of course. It was done pretty frequently in film with stars like Mickey…

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