Margaret Webster's Othello

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From the Ghost Busters remake to The Green Knight to (long ago now) the remake of Battlestar Galactica, some people get pretty worked up about casting choices. In this article, Bob Mondello cites The Guardian's Lucy Mangan who observed, "I am aware that Anne Boleyn wasn't black, but I'm also aware that she wasn't Claire Foy, Merle Oberon, Helena Bonham Carter or any of the other women who have played her over the years, and my brain is not unduly upset by any of it."

Mondello also talks about Margaret Webster's 1943 production of Othello, featuring two men of color as the title character and Iago. Despite the industry's predictions--and their refusal to finance the production (Webster had to pony up the money)--when the curtain fell on the first performance of Othello at the Shubert Theater in Manhattan on October 19, 1943, the standing ovation lasted for a full twenty minutes.Websters Othello ran for 296 performances, a record for a Shakespeare play on Broadway that stands today.

Cover of Othello Playbill

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