All-Black ‘Cat on Hot Tin Roof’ debuts on Broadway
Theatergoers can – and surely will – argue about the historical logic of the all-black “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” that opened last night at the Broadhurst Theatre.
Without the reverse casting, however, we would never have seen James Earl Jones as a shattering Big Daddy, tenderly holding and kissing the sensitive head of Terrence Howard, stunning as son Brick, in an attempt to transfer his own power into the beautiful young man’s broken soul.
Without daring to re-imagine Tennessee Williams’ Mississippi plantation owners as nouveau-riche blacks in 1955, we would have been denied the sight of Phylicia Rashad squeezing her formidable self into a rare and heartbreaking interpretation of that silly dim bulb of a woman, Big Mama.
Read the rest of Linda Winer’s review at Newsday