Monday, April 9, 2012

5 Actresses That Should be Broadway Bound

It was announced last week that three-time Academy Award Nominee, Amy Adams, will be making her New York stage debut as the Baker's Wife (a role that won Joanna Gleason a Tony back in 1988) in The Public Theater's production of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods. The show is part of the theater company's 50th Anniversary of the annual Shakespeare in the Park–a New York tradition of free shows performed in Central Park. (The other show this year is As You Like It with Lily Rabe and Oliver Platt. You know, some actual Shakespeare to go along with the name of the whole thing...)

Amy Adams started her career doing Summer Stock and has sung on-screen before in Enchanted, Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day, and The Muppets, but hasn't appeared on stage since becoming a star. So, it comes as no surprise that she's finally gonna be treading the boards. I've heard from people that work in casting that Amy Adams is usually at the top of the wish list for any musical being produced on Broadway. It makes sense since she actually has training and experience doing musicals on stage and she just happens to be a famous actress that can get butts in seats. She would have been a more natural choice for Cinderella in Into the Woods, so it'll be interesting to see if she can pull-off the more harder edged character of the Baker's Wife. My only real concern now is how it's gonna be impossible to get tickets to see her. I can't camp-out in the park with all the bugs and...nature; that sound's miserable. And they have a virtual line that I did literally everyday last year until I finally won (and this was for two obscure Shakespeare plays with no well-known stars. I can only imagine how insane it will be to see Amy. I hope The Public's mainframe can handle it...). It will also be interesting to see if she reprises her role in Rob Marshall's intended film version of the musical.

Casting Hollywood actresses in Broadway musicals is nothing new. In fact, tonight's episode of 'Smash' was all about a fictional Hollywood starlet (played by Oscar nominee, Uma Thurman!) being cast in the show's production of the Marilyn Monroe musical, so the show could get funding through the big-name star attached to it. This got me thinking about what other Hollywood actresses should try their hand in a musical on the New York stage. Here are my Top 5 Choices:

5. Evan Rachel Wood
She may have lost the role of Eponine in the Les Miz movie to theater actress, Samantha Banks (thank God it wasn't Taylor Swift), but the girl has some definite singing chops. She appeared in Julie Taymor's Beatles musical, Across the Universe, and was originally supposed to work with the director again as Mary Jane in the Spiderman musical. The show was plagued from the start and Evan dropped out after the first time it lost financing (funny, Taymor isn't involved in the show anymore either...). I would love to see her in a vamp kinda role like Lola in Damn Yankees, something with some bite to it. I don't know if I'd buy her as an ingenue. And after her performance of Justin Beiber's 'Baby' on Jimmy Fallon, she showcased not only her talented vocals, but that she was game for anything.

4. Michelle Pfeiffer
One of the three-time Oscar nominee's earliest role was in the movie musical, Grease 2. She's since gone on to sing in a number of films from her memorable turn atop a piano in The Fabulous Baker Boys to her voice-over work in the animated The Prince of Egypt and as the villain in the film version of the Broadway musical (which was based on the movie...Got that?), Hairspray. She even auditioned for the part of Evita during one of the many times it was in development, before it was finally made with Madonna. Michelle has only appeared professionally once on stage, during the 1989 Shakespeare in the Park production of Twelfth Night. The notoriously shy actress may need some coaxing to appear again on stage, but there's no doubt she would be sensational. Hey, just saying, the Shakespeare in the Park's production of Into the Woods still needs its Witch...

3. Kate Winslet
The Oscar winner is only a Tony away from her EGOT. Maybe a Broadway musical is the way to go? (She's apparently in talks to appear in David Hare's play Skylight, so she's ready to get that Tony regardless.) Although she's yet to appear in a stage musical, the actress has sung many times before on screen including her film debut in Heavenly Creatures, in her first Oscar nominated performance in Sense and Sensibility, and in John Turturro's musical-esque film, Romance and Cigarettes. She even recorded a single that was released in Europe for an animated version of A Christmas Carol (the proceeds went to charity). And during her opening monologue when she hosted Saturday Night Live, she showed-off her live signing and tap dancing(!) skills. Clearly she has the skill for the job, she'll just have to decide what kinda show to do: musical comedy or dramatic rock opera?

2. Gwyneth Paltrow
She's already won an Emmy for playing a singing substitute teacher on Glee and reprised the performance during the live Grammys telecast. In fact, Gwynie was GOOPing her way through tons of live performances to promote her turn as a country singer in Country Strong, so obviously she's comfortable with singing on stage. (And who can forgot her lite-rock staple of 'Cruisin' with Huey Lewis? The late-night music of choice of grocery stores across the country.) I, for one, would love to see Gwyneth in a Broadway musical. Maybe something like High Society that can take advantage of her class and regal elegance. There were talks that she was gonna record an album, but doing a musical would be a better use of her talents as an actress and singer.

1. Anne Hathaway
My friend was telling me that he heard she had been in talks to play Cinderella in the Park's Into the Woods (Can you imagine if Annie and Amy were both in the same production? There's now rumors that Meryl Streep will play the Witch. My head can't process...). Although, Annie probably couldn't fit it in with all the promotional work she's gonna have to do for The Dark Knight Rises (the part went to theatre actress, Jessie Mueller). But, it just goes to show how everyone is waiting for Annie to appear on stage in a musical. She's currently in musical mode filming the film version of Les Miz as Fantine (she already has a history with the show having performed a song from it during the Oscar telecast). In 2002 (with only The Princess Diaries as her claim to fame) she appeared in City Center's Encores presentation of Carnival. She even did a workshop of Promises, Promises but never made it to the Broadway production. And as far back as 2009, it was announced that Annie was set to star in a Broadway production and biopic about Judy Garland. So far, neither has seen any development. As evident from her tribute to Meryl at the Kennedy Center Honors, she's just a Broadway Baby and it's not a question of if she'll be on Broadway any time soon, but when!

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