Wednesday, November 30, 2011

If Only Sutton Foster or Lea Salonga Were 15 Years Younger...

When I was growing up my two favorite musicals were, like many musical loving children of the 80's, The Phantom of the Opera (which we had on double vinyl. Try not to be jealous) and, of course, Les Miz. I would spend hours listening and singing along at the top of my lungs. It was a sad day when puberty came and I could no longer hit the high note that Christine sings at the end of the title song. (Don't think I didn't still try.) But, nothing spoke to my lil adolescent heart like Eponine's 'On My Own' from Les Miz. Which is why I'm not crazy about this news from the New York Post regarding the casting of Eponine in Tom Hopper's upcoming film of the musical. Joel Schumacher already messed up the film version of Phantom. A big part of that was in the casting. Don't make the same mistake, Hooper. Let's break down the four potential actresses/singers:
Is one of these four the big screen's Eponine? Yesh...

Taylor Swift
Pros: She's around the age of the character and she definitely knows how to sing songs about boys not          
         loving her. I had to struggle to find some pros on this one...
Cons: Oh, boy. She can barely sing with the help of autotune on her albums. Her voice is not strong 
         enough for this music. Also, I've seen Valentine's Day. She. Can't. Act. Like, not even a little bit.
         I believe my roommate's exact words were: Is she playing someone with a learning disability? 
         Nope. That was just Taylor trying to play a typical teenager. 

Scarlett Johansson
Pros: Um...She's pretty? I got nothing...
Cons: She is way too old for this part. Eponine is in her teens to early 20's. And her singing voice is just 
         all wrong for this role. Also, why is it that whenever a big female role is being cast Scarlett's name
         is always in the mix? She can't be right for everything. And frankly she has never lived up to her 
         early promises.

Evan Rachel Wood
Pros: I feel like she could probably handle the singing. And when she's on, like in Thirteen and Mildred
         Pierce, she's great. However...
Cons: Sometimes she's miscast. She excels in roles that have a bit of an edge or unlikable quality to 
         them. Which is a testament to her talent that she can make those character's watchable. But, I 
         don't always buy her as an innocent. And sometimes she seems a bit too modern in period pieces.
Lea Michele
Pros: By far the best singer of the four. She grew up doing Broadway and even appeared in a production
        as young Cosette. She traditionally looks the way Eponine is portrayed in the stage production. Out 
        of all these four, I think she would be the best choice. And look below! She's sung it before!
Cons: She has a reputation as a diva. And she comes off a little too desperate to be noticed. I guess those 
        things wouldn't interfere with her doing the part. You know, just my observations.

So, there are the choices. What do you think? Is there someone else they aren't considering that you think would be good? With the star quality of Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, and Geoffrey Rush, do you think they should go with an unknown? What about when Katie Holmes sang 'On My Own' on Dawson's Creek? Remember that... And, finally, just for the hell of it, let's take a look at some great Broadway ladies singing the classic song. 

       Sutton Foster
Lea Salonga

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