the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tradition, Tradition


With Broadway all abuzz with the casting of Rose O’Donnell as Goldie, Tevye’s prototypical Jewish wife in the revival of "Fiddler on the Roof," top Broadway producers have quickly added "crowd-pleasing" but inappropriate stars to their upcoming shows:

Carrot Top is "The Wiz"

Fran Drescher is "Evita"

Lindsay Lohan  is "The Man of La Mancha"

Louie Anderson in "A Chorus Line"

Dave Chappelle in "Oklahoma"

Phyllis Diller is "Annie"

Paul Reubens is "The Phantom of the Opera"

Shaquille O’Neal in "Hair"

Carson Kressley in "The King and I"

James Earl Jones in "Bring in ‘Da Noise Bring in ‘Da Funk"

Margaret Cho in "1776"

*NSYNC in "Beatlemania"

Patrick Stewart is "Funny Girl"

Dennis Miller in "Grease"


  1. M.A.

    Rosie O’Donnell as Goldie? That’s creative casting.

    Now what about actress and singers who are trying to make it. Her starring in the show is not going to make me want to pay the $100.00 train ticket and then the cost of the show.

    Say it ain’t so, Neil…

  2. Susan

    Oh god, I can hear it now…

    “Motel! Tzeitel! Mazel tov, you cute patooties!”

  3. Susan


  4. Melanie

    Next they’ll be casting Madonna as Yente and Tom Hanks as the Rabbi. Oy vey.

  5. Aurorealis

    Wait a minute… Rosie O’Donnell and not GWEN STEFANI?!?! Why, with all that auditioning she’d been doing with her latest pop songs, I thought she’d be a shoe-in. 😉

  6. Bad Maria

    Okay, not that I’m a Rosie fan (because I would definitely NOT be in that category) but I’m wondering why you think the casting is inappropriate? Is it because she’s not Jewish?

    I mean I’m pretty sure Mark Harmon has never killed anyone but he did a pretty good job playing Ted Bundy. Just sayin’…if she can pull it off musically and as an actress (not saying she can), I’m thinkin’ make-up can deal with aging her (not a huge leap).
    And yes, of course, Broadway casts people who will pull in the audience, otherwise they lose a ton of money. Psst, they do the same thing in movies.

  7. Neil

    You’re right, Maria. A bit of reverse racism on my part. She may be good. But Fiddler is like a sixth book of Moses for the Jewish people, and Rosie is just so wrong. But, you got me to rethink my opinon. So, why not Rosie? She is entertaining. And I’m sure, at one time, they wanted Nicole Kidman for Frida Kahlo.

  8. Laura

    What about Omarosa in “Kiss of the Spider Woman”

  9. JJ MacMillan

    Oh, please, Neilochka, don’t back down. She’s so freakin’ wrong for the part. It has nothing to do with being racist or her being not Jewish. SHE. CAN. NOT. ACT.

  10. Bad Maria

    I agree that Rosie can’t act (hence my qualifier at the beginning of my post). I just wanted to point out that it is an acting role and if someone who is not jewish (but can “look” jewish) can do a good job in the role and pull in audiences, they should be given a shot, regardless of their faith. And no, I would not have bought Nicole as Frida so that was a nice shot, Neil. This, of course, brings to mind that nice jewish boy Ed Ames, who played Mingo for years on Daniel Boone (and when he threw the ax on Johnny Carson and hit the target guy in the crotch, Johnny said, “gee Ed, I didn’t know you were jewish”….hmmm didn’t he?)

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