Friday, May 14, 2010

Not that anyone else

really needs to talk about the whole Ramin Setoodeh Newsweek gays-playing-straights article. But....

Aaron Sorkin's Huffington Post column about the whole dust-up is a new take. I like this paragraph the best:
An actor, no matter which sex they're attracted to, can't "play" gay or "play" straight. Gay and straight aren't actable things. You can act effeminate and you can act macho (though macho usually ends up reading as gay), but an actor can't play gay or straight anymore than they can play Catholic. The most disturbing thing to me about this episode is that the theater critic for Newsweek didn't know that. Of COURSE gay actors can play straight characters -- it's impossible to believe that Mr. Setoodeh would prefer if Ian McKellen would stop doing King Lear.
Playgoer points out that this guy isn't really even a theater critic, but more like a pop culture writer or something to that extent. Setoodeh's defenses don't really make any sense, either. It'd be nice if he'd just say, "Sorry folks, I wrote a dumb article. I should've made it clearer that I was talking more about public personas getting in the way of performances," but we can't really expect a critic to apologize for writing something dumb, can we?

The only thing I have to add is that I knew just by seeing him in Taking Woodstock that Jonathan Groff is a serious actor and deserves to be treated with all the seriousness as his straight co-star in that film, Liev Schreiber, or his straight co-star in Glee, Matthew Morrison. I think he's darling in Glee; my only wish is that they give him more to do on the show. I hope he sticks around, and I hope he has a long career and I get to see as much of it as possible.

And if it means anything, Katie Baker wrote for a Newsweek blog last August that "he's among the most memorable and electrifying ingénues in the theater today." I suppose we'll have to forgive the oddly feminizing description of him as an "ingénue" -- I doubt Liev Schreiber was ever described as such -- but the rest of her article is genuinely admiring. Read it here.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Oh Jonathan! Before he came out and was humping a barechested Lea Michele 8 times a week with his bare butt exposed in Spring Awakening there was no discussion of him being too gay. JG's my hero and he can play anything, or with anyone he likes.

Michael