Friday, April 11, 2008

Let's hope Jessie Spano doesn't show up in CHICAGO


I just read on playbill.com that Mario Lopez, aka A.C. Slater from Saved By The Bell, is about to make his Broadway debut in A CHORUS LINE. Now, I realize the man can dance. I mean, who can forget him ripping off his clothes in "The Max" to win Jessie's heart with some sassy pique turns? But this is part of an ongoing trend on Broadway where, let's call them "unconventional" actors end up in shows. CABARET a few years ago was the perfect example. Everyone from Brooke Shields to Molly Ringwald to Neil Patrick Harris (Doogie!) was in it. Seriously. Marcus and I are about the only people in NYC who did not grace the stage as Sally Bowles and the Emcee. A stage manager friend of mine worked on that show and said they had a piece of paper in their office where people would write down who should play the roles next. Most of them were jokes, but a couple of times, folks from that piece of paper ended up in the show. I certainly understand the need for a "big" name on the marquis. That certainly sells tickets and often brings in a more diverse audience than you might get with theatre-only actors whose names are not as recognizable. I'm not saying these folks are not talented, I'm just saying that if my years of working in the NYC theatre scene and the Broadway community have taught me anything it's that there's an unbelievable amount of untapped talent in this city. I'd like to see an unknown actor (or even a lesser-known theatre actor) get a role over a "big name" any day. This, friends, is why Jen usually works for not-for-profit companies and is also why she will never, ever be a theatre producer in NYC. (Well, that and she's broke.)

So what's your nightmare casting for Broadway? Mickey Rooney as Annie? The guy who played Squiggie as the Phantom? Don't just limit yourselves to Saved By The Bell characters! :)

1 comment:

Christine said...

Dave Coulier from 'Full House' as Boq in Wicked. And lets not forget all the "Clay-mates" that are going to Spamalot! I agree, the big names on Broadway disgust me! There are so many unknown actors in NY that would KILL for these roles, but they don't have the same connections as "higher" performers! Wake me up when this nightmare is over...