You’re not my first, as well you know;
Once before I left when marriage beckoned.All four get strong solo opportunities, but I think I will remember Stuckey best as “Miss Byrd,” grabbing a stereotype (the quiet, businesslike administrative assistant with a wild life after hours) and nailing it with new verve. It’s no surprise that Miller, one of our top choreographers, uses the space like buttah with just the right amount of movement. She should be staging the big, big shows on a regular basis, of course, but, in building Good People, she’s scaling back for the future, and it hasn’t impaired her inventiveness any.
But you’re so much more than merely first—
You are the first to be second.
“The joke at the beginning about Billy’s satellite dish instantly flashed the brilliance and authenticity of Johnson’s script for me, because only an Indian would get that joke. Many of my family members and neighbors still live in mud-encrusted hogans with dirt floors, yet everyone there has a satellite dish. I was the only one in the audience who laughed.
“I immediately was drawn in when Billy started talking about his feet and magic shoes. Native Americans aren’t often well represented in art, most likely because we’re some really messed up people. Leandro Cano walks a tightrope that could easily become a hilarious joke for bilagáana, but his authenticity, warmth, and familiarity with the self-deprecating humor of natives made it so believable. I kept trying to find the word to describe how his Billy touched me, and I realized the word is ‘tribal.’ He made me see my uncles back home. My great-grandfather was a medicine man, and his performance made me homesick for the rez. It was like taking a trip to the Four Corners.”