Last Saturday, we ventured out into the cold and took my mom to Cleveland's Playhouse Square to see Flanagan's Wake, an improvisational, interactive play. It was a lot of fun.
But as Mike and I discussed the show yesterday, we realized we had spent an evening laughing and enjoying ourselves at what was basically two hours worth of racial stereotyping. For example...
As we entered the cabaret theater to take our seats, each audience member was given a name tag. Women had the name "Mary" added to their first name and men, "Patrick" So I became Mary Breda and Mike was Michael Patrick (funny because that is his real name and he actually has about 4 first cousins named Mary Somethingoranother.) This was done, presumably, because all the Irish name their children this way, dontcha know? The actors all sounded vaguely like a cross between the Lucky Charms leprechaun and someone from Belfast, where every sentence sounds like it's a question? and they were sure to use the requisite "JAY-sis" while taking the Lord's name in vain. I was somewhat disappointed that no one managed to slip in a "JAY-sis, Mary and Joseph," which I have been known to say on more than one occasion.
We Irish like to laugh at ourselves, to be sure, so we didn't find it offensive at all. Oftentimes, stereotypes exist for a reason...I mean, the bartender/mayor character could have been based on my own uncle.
Anyway, in the course of rehashing the event, Mike said, "The show was very similar to Tony & Tina's Wedding - isn't that kind of based on Italian stereotypes?"
"I'm not sure," I've never seen Tony & Tina's Wedding, so I couldn't say.
"I wonder if there are shows for other ethnic groups, like Germans."
"No, there are definitely no shows for Germans. Germans are boring."
Mike nodded in agreement. "Yeah, but we want Germans to be boring...because when Germans start to become exciting, that's when France gets invaded."