A funnier and lighter script

2008-05-13 00:00

WHEN I reviewed Ben Voss’s satirical Beauty and the B.E.E. last year, I found plenty to laugh at. But I was uncomfortable with the concept — a white man in character as a black woman. I said so in the review, and found myself in a minority. Voss took issue with me on the Witness website and a couple of readers also voiced their disagreement.

That meant some changes to the way Voss portrays Beauty Ramapelepele, the newly crowned Businesswoman of the Year. Voss had originally given the story some pathos — Beauty was having marital problems and had more of a back story to place her in a realistic context. But Voss decided that as a white man, he wasn’t getting a real black woman’s perspective. And so he has made the script lighter and funnier. “I’m not trying too hard to be a black woman now,” he says.

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