I suppose this movie was behind the eight ball from the very start in a way. On the one hand, there was such a tremendous hype for it as a play, it built the expectation of being blown away, and on the other hand, it being presented in its live theater version made it lose some of the visual impact of seeing it in person. We expect a greater production value on the screen.
The story is great, and should be required viewing for children at a certain age. I confess, I wasn’t enthralled by it as a musical. I guess I am too used to musicals that have regular dialogue broken up by songs rather than continuous sung dialogue. If there had been dialogue surroundIng eight or ten lovely songs like Helpless, I would have given it top marks. It is still an impressive production.
I feel I have to comment on the diverse cast. I am white and had no problem with the cast choices. I would have cried foul if they had presented an all white cast as some seem to think was required. I had an acquaintance complain, “What if they cast a white actor as Martin Luther King? And all I can do is flip it upside down. There are only a half-dozen people of color in our history books for every hundred Caucasians, and if it reaches the point where whites stop whining when people of color play those roles, I am convinced that people of color will be totally fine with whites playing the roles of people of color. But we aren’t there yet, are we?