The Lone Ranger

Age Range: all welcome (children must be accompanied by an adult)

Join Millennium Choir for Andy Whitfield’s satirical interpretation of the Lone Ranger, performed with a projection of the first episode of the classic TV serial.

Plus support act.

Content Advisory from Millennium Choir
The Lone Ranger was a much-loved TV film series that ran for many years in the 50s and 60s. Some of you may even remember it. While we’ll be affectionately sending it up in our performance, the film is of course, of its time, and has shortcomings that we should acknowledge, given Hollywood’s whitewashing of the history of the colonisation of North America.

Our showing of the film is not about cowboys versus Indians, as they were called, but about goodies versus baddies, where the only Native American to appear is one of the goodies. We may have loved Tonto, the Lone Ranger’s Native American sidekick, and admired his courage, his sense of right and wrong, his tracking skills, his athleticism and horsemanship, but despite saving the Lone Ranger’s life, his role is the subservient one of faithful supporter rather than equal. Not surprisingly, some critics said Tonto was the Native American equivalent of an Uncle Tom figure.

Jay Silverheels, who played Tonto, was a Mohawk from Ontario and the first Native American to get a major role in TV. While he was proud to do so he later said he never felt comfortable with the portrayal of Native Americans and the invented pidgin English he had to speak: ‘Me do, kemosabe’, etc. Later he satirised Tonto and became an advocate for the rights of Native Americans, and he helped set up a Theatre School for Native American actors in Los Angeles.

We’ll be satirising the film too, so while you’ll be watching it, you’ll hear not the original soundtrack, but the words and music of our choir’s late founder, Andy Whitfield.