(L to R) Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Bethany Anne Lind, Tess Malis Kincaid and Tom Key in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. Photo by Teresa Wood.
For a play based on a film made in 1967, you might suspect antiquated dialogue and plotlines. While William Rose’s screenplay about Joanna Drayton (Bethany Anne Lind), a girl who surprises her family by bringing home an African-American fiancée (Malcolm-Jamal Warner), may have been edgy back then, the idea of inter-racial marriage is much more accepted in our society now.
Well even in “post-racial” 2013, the idea of whites and blacks marrying each other is still making headlines. Todd Kreidler’s stage adaptation of Rose’s story still resonates with audiences in a new production at Arena Stage. The story may not provoke like it did back in the 60s; instead it serves as a galvanizing statement of equality and the way love should be. The crowd inside the packed Fichandler Stage was eager to give their stamp of approval against prejudice, exploding into applause anytime a character demonstrated against bigotry. The statement that the original film set out to make now has a strong rooting interest in 2013.