By - _stitch
I don't remember the actress' name, but whomever played Jasmine when I saw Aladdin back in Jan 2016 was very much miscast. She could not hold the tune correctly the entire show. It sounded like she was flat the whole time and it did not sound good.
This is dramatic to say but she ruined the show for me. Completely miscast.
Same. If it’s the same actress on the OBC album-
It seems to be just missing something. Maybe it’s just because the movie vocal on A Whole New World is so iconic and beautiful.
I mean Lea Salonga is hard to live up to!
Courtney Reed? I also saw her as Jasmine and was really not impressed
I think it probably was Courtney Reed. I saw it in 2017 and she was still playing Jasmine and I was equally not impressed. It threw me for a loop when she opted down in A Whole New World and then her solo song was so lackluster. She played so demure and had none of the strong will and sass that the animated Jasmine has.
I was very unimpressed by her performance in Moulin Rouge. She's a good singer but not a terribly good actress. At least not as Satine.
This is very obscure theater gossip but I’ve heard through the grapevine Beanie Feldstein wasn’t the best fit for the Funny Girl revival
her comedy for the role was GREAT...it was everything else though.
I like to believe that's what they wanted to go for with this production instead of just the music, but when the book isn't that great to begin with...
Big if true
you dont say!
That is brand new information!
Alistair Brammer as Chris in Miss Saigon in the last Broadway Revival. Sooo-ooo-oooo muuu-uuuu—uuucccch vi-braaa—- aaaa aaaa aaaa-a-a tooo-of-o.
I saw his understudy (he was out the night I saw Miss Saigon) and after listening to the West End revival recording, I'm glad I didn't see Alistair.
Might get downvoted but the understudies for Little Shop of Horrors is the reason it's on my list to see it again. It's a lower budget off broadway show so they have like 2 understudies for the whole things. When I went the understudy for Orin was not doing it for me. He was also the US for seymore which i think he would have been great for. Basically they needed 2 different understudies for those roles because they are literally polar opposites, a good fit for one would be off for the other.
If it's the same understudy, I saw him as Seymour along with the Audrey understudy and they were both great! But yeah, I don't think he would have worked well as Orin.
I saw the US for Seymour and he wasn't my favorite fit. He was very talented and love to seem in something else, but I didn't care for his Seymour much and couldn't imagine him as Orin.
Vanessa Hugens as Gigi in the 2015 revival (technically I saw this pre-Broadway at the Kennedy Center in DC).
Hudgens basically spent 2011-2014 trying to convince us she wasn't the naive Disney princess anymore, that she was an adult now, only to play a young, naive girl who is completely clueless about anything involving being an adult.
I saw Hamilton with the OBC except for Jonathan Groff as King George. It was Andrew Rannells. I thought he did great and I saw the pro shot on Disney + with Groff and didn’t see much difference 🤷♀️
I can’t believe this is how I find out Andrew went on as King George
[Here’s](https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3C4vmM5mQT8) a video of Andrew Rannells, Brian d’Arcy James, and Jonathan Groff doing Schuyler Sisters outside for the Ham4Ham performances.
Truly a masterpiece, I love that they’re all wearing the crowns
I’ve watched this video so many times before and I will happily watch it again. The entire thing is magic.
He did it for 4-5 weeks early on in the run, when Groff had to take a bit of a leave for a filming commitment!
Cool! Super curious now about his portrayal
It was when Hamilton was still in previews. I don’t even recall a notice saying he was going on for Groff. At the curtain call I said to my daughter “That guy looks really familiar “. It was then when I realized who it was 😂
Haha oh wow, I can’t imagine the confusion when he first comes on and there’s no notice
I saw Tammy Blanchard in Little Shop and I didn’t like her at all. I’m not sure if it was a case of her being miscast, but she made some very strange choices.
Oof hard agree on this one. The whole time I was wondering if Audrey was supposed to be drunk or high because that’s how Tammy was playing it
I saw her too and was underwhelmed, she seemed to be mumbling most of her lines.
I agree. I think she was trying to take it in a different direction but she just ruined the whole character of Audrey. It didn't work and really soured my experience. Christian Borle was fantastic though!
I’m surprised the director allowed her to portray Audrey like that. Christian Borle and Jonathan Groff were great. Her performance was just baffling
I have such a hard time listening to the cast album because of her - I dislike her voice so much, and the Tiny Desk is really poor because of her.
They clearly organized the Tiny Desk concert so she wouldn't sing solo much.
That should tell everyone what they need to know.
I think she's a very good actress, but never right for the part of Audrey at all.
I have no idea how she was cast in the first place and how they stuck with her for so long. Essentially everyone agreed she was the weak spot of the production.
This was the first thing that came to my mind. Absolutely bizarre choices of playing Audrey constantly drunk it seemed. And her singing was weak.
Just didn’t work at all in a production I still loved.
I just saw her a few months ago opposite Skylar Astin and thought the exact same thing!!! The entire time she slurred her words and she’d almost smile through some lines as if Audrey isn’t literally being abused. She also felt too old for the role, which feels super rude of me to say but I didn’t believe her as Audrey at all. Which is a bummer because I’d heard good things and really enjoyed the rest of the show
I came in here to say Tammy Blanchard as Louise in Gypsy. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't... I don't know. The rest of the cast in that revival was kind of nuts so...
She’s always been the weakest link there for me the 4 times I saw the show. Unfortunately with what I’ve heard of Lena Hall so far I don’t like her take either.
I 100% disagree. This production took the grounded approach to Little Shop. it kept the camp but didn't make Audrey a caricature. It wasn't an empty copy of Ellen Greene which is all I have ever seen with this show in the many productions I have seen. She was broken, at her worst, desperate to get out of their but didn't believe in herself, didn't think she was worth anything. I thought her performance was nuanced and sad. Which made her transformation so satisfying. I loved her so much.
I agree, I don’t love her voice but it was unique and a breath of fresh air from the previous Audreys, and her acting was great for the character. It was touching.
Most recently I saw an understudy (Chelsea Turbin) who took the same approach to the character—although I also much preferred Chelsea’s voice to Tammy’s—and I loved it so much. I’m probably gonna get downvoted to hell for this, but I’m personally not a huge fan of Ellen Greene’s version of Audrey. It was somehow too… breathy and a bit uncomfortable for me to hear. I’m sorry!!
I actually agree with you, I never really like Ellen Greene's performance of Audrey either. It was always a bit too campy for me, and it never captured how I imagined the psychology of Audrey would be. This is going to sound a bit glib, but so many Audreys give me the impression that they are doing a version of what they (a priviliged actor who went to a flash arts school) think a woman in an abusive relationship is like. Tammy, on the other hand, feels so real and grounded. It feels like she's lived it, or understands it on a deeper level. The psychology, the feeling of worthlessness, was there. It's so much more affecting IMO.
I found my people! Not being a fan of Ellen Greene as Audrey has always been my most unpopular musical theater opinion.
You absolutely nailed why I wasn’t a fan of Ellen Greene’s portrayal (and why I like Tammy’s)! Thank you, I couldn’t really put it in words.
Some of her line reads (esp in Somewhere) are just GENIUS. So, so funny and still full of pathos.
Yep. And I love how they treated the domestic abuse. Not as a joke. As a real, scary thing that Audrey thinks she deserves. I loved it so much. When you play those lines for laughs, they feel yucky. When you play them honestly, they still can get a laugh, but it's coming from a place of empathy.
Tammy's voice could definitely be stronger (I'm a vocal nut and I enjoy Kerry Butler's Audrey purely due to how clean her voice sounds), but I 100% agree with you, Tammy felt like she understood what domestic violence does on a psychological level, and you could see it in her performance. It was so much more affecting.
I agree! I was blown away when I saw her. So different than I’d ever seen the part played and I was very impressed that none of the comedy was sacrificed in her performance.
I agree, Ellen Greene’s performance works for what it is, but I don’t like that most actresses seem to interpret Ellen’s performance to mean that Audrey should be played like a cartoon character. I thought Tammy’s voice was a little weak but her acting made the character feel like an actual person instead of just the living embodiment of a silly accent.
Right? EG is honest, silly and touching. She's perfect. But every other Audrey I have seen is just trying to copy that and they all fail. Also, Tammy's voice is not stellar, but it's rich and interesting. I am tired of people needing all performers to sound like they stepped out of BFA for musical theatre. It's so monotonous. Look back at musical performers over the decades. They were not all big crystal clear belters. They had character, they could sing, but it wasn't perfect. I much prefer that.
The anecdote I always think of is Desiree in ALNM originally being created as essentially a non-singing role, with Glynis Johns only really being able to carry a tune and being cast primarily for her acting. But during rehearsals Hal told Sondheim it felt like she should have a song in her big final scene with Fredrik, so he wrote Send in the Clowns specifically around her limited vocal capabilities. Plus he and George Furth wrote the role of Joanne and the song Ladies Who Lunch specifically for Elaine Stritch, who I wouldn’t say was ever known for her singing.
Point being: if the work is good and the actor can sing well enough to deliver it, the performance is what matters more than the voice.
Yes!!! We would be good friends IRL.
I recently saw a documentary or special where Sondheim said that he prefers actors who sing over singers who act. That really resonated with me, as I tend to like the cases that are often complained about (Tammy Blanchard in this, Katrina Lenk in Company, LMM in various things).
It's not a broadway show but the fact that Katherine McPhee and Megan Hilty were cast as they were in Smash and weren't switched is a fucking travesty.
I will never stop being annoyed that the show wants me to root against Megan Hilty.
And I understand why they went about it this way, since more people probably know McPhee from Idol than they know Hilty. But when your target audience is proper theater fans, it's a problem.
They could've had it set up so that they saw Karen's talent, but determine that she needs more Broadway-specific training and build her up. So at least we can get a little more "behind the scenes of a Broadway production" while also getting Ivy as Marilyn.
I don't think McPhee had the acting ability at that point in her career, pretty fresh out of American Idol, to bring the complexity Hilty did to Ivy's character. Karen, at least in season one, was very stars-in-her-eyes, hopeful, naive and green, whereas Ivy was hardened, experienced, and felt more entitlement because of how much work she had put in the industry. I think if they had been switched the show wouldn't have been nearly as well received.
John pryce as the engineer what a weird choice for a white guy to play an asian
I think quite a few of the recent West End Les Mis actors have been bad fits, e.g. Jordan Shaw as Enjolras in the current cast. He has a nice voice but it's just totally wrong for that part - very little power and very wide vibrato.
Also, Aaron Tveit as Roger in Rent - he just seemed too 'all-American quarterback' for it. And Taye Diggs in Hedwig.
>Aaron Tveit as Roger in Rent - he just seemed too 'all-American quarterback' for it
Fun fact, he auditioned for Glee and wasn't cast for a similar reason (I think it might have been that he was "too" good looking but don't remember)
I like Aaron Tveit, but he just wouldn't be a good fit for Roger.
However, he did a stunning version of "One Song Glory" (not his performance from Rent) that is posted on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CghI1azLhtO/?igshid=MTA0ZTI1NzA=
The woman they got playing Anna in the Frozen OBC. She didn't convey the type of innocent, idealistic vibes needed, and seemed actually older than the woman playing her older sister, to me.
agreed! didn’t really care much about that show to begin with, but really lost interest when I saw what they did with anna. so, so weird
I've never been so put off by someone's vocal choices in a song than her's in First Time in Forever. The way she says her r's is absolutely bizarre. "Therrrrrre'll be magic, therrrrrrrrrrre'll be liiiiiight!" HATED it.
Patti Murin? Agreed. Her voice is lovely on the soundtrack but think she was too old for the part.
Totally agree, her voice didn’t fit Anna. They needed someone who usually plays ingenue roles
Reeve Carney as Orpheus. He’s not bad but he just doesn’t have the same expression and talent as the rest of the cast and I kind of wish his vocals were more powerful. Again he’s not bad but imagine if like Aaron Tveit played the part.
It to me is especially critical that they cast Orpheus as a great singer since he is one in the myth.
The touring Orpheus is SOO much better than RC. Chibueze Ihuoma is amazing. His voice is fantastic and he really captures the oblivious innocence of Orpheus. For once I actually believe him as a character and not a caricature.
Yes!!! I wasn’t super familiar with the show but a friend invited me for her birthday and Chibueze was the Orpheus I saw. He was amazinnnnggggg and I’m so glad he was my introduction to the show
If they were gonna recast I’d rather they go for someone younger tbh, replacing a 39-year-old with a 38-year-old doesn’t seem like it would bring the kind of freshfaced optimism the character should have.
Wait Reeve Carney is almost 40?
He looks really young
What! I had no idea that was their age.
i know i’m an outlier but i actually rly enjoyed him as orpheus ! something about his vocal tone i thought really lent itself to naivety? but i know that’s a pretty unpopular opinion for this subreddit lol
I did like that he was so dorky. That interpretation was new and added some nice comedy.
This is my opinion too. His voice is merely good enough for the role, but his physical acting choices are PERFECT.
i greatly prefer damon daunno’s performance to reeve’s :-/ a bummer that we lost him to oklahoma (and that oklahoma lost amber gray to hadestown!)
AARON TVEIT AS ORPHEUS I would die
I wish Tveit would join hadestown. I would have loved to see Tveit with Eva Noblezada. But unfortunately I think Eva is leaving.
I saw Tveit as Christian in moulin rouge and he stole the whole show.
I really enjoy Hadestown and its soundtrack. With that being said, when I saw it live, I kept finding myself thinking how much better his songs would've sounded if they were all just an octave down lol
Yeah, I saw it twice and felt he sang better on the recording than live. The other singers I didn’t feel that way. It’s still my favorite show on Broadway but after seeing (and falling in love with) the new Persephone I really would like to see other actors play these parts as well. The new Persephone is outstanding by the way. She was the woman who played one of the fates in the original recording and she just killed the lady of the underground song.
Jewelle Blackman superiority>>>>>
She was a revelation as Queen P
Tammi Blanchard as Audrey. She sounds like she's yelling a lot, which sucks because it was nice to have a lower range Audrey. Jonathan Groff was great though.
Does David Hasselhoff in Jekyll and Hyde count
While she sang it well, Ana Gasteyer was too old to make Act1 Elphaba a realistically young idealistic girl.
I felt Ana played Act 1 Elphaba closer to the book counterpart, similar to what Julia Murney did as well, which I appreciated. Personally I like actresses who make Elphaba less "plucky" and more inward, jaded, with hope for someone like the Wizard being different than everyone else.
I felt the same way about Javier Munoz as Hamilton. He was perfect as older Ham but for all of the first half I was very aware I was watching someone *playing the role* of a young man.
Hey, she’s only 4 years older than Idina! I do always find it funny that over the years Idina repeatedly said there was no way they’d ask her to be Elphaba in the Wicked movie because she was too old to play a college student, as if she wasn’t already 32 when it opened on Broadway.
I mean to be fair, 32 on stage and 32 on film come across very different
Yes, we've all seen *Dear Evan Hansen* by now.
Oh sure, she was definitely right that she was too old to do the movie. I just always thought it was funny that the way she talked about it, you’d think she originated the role when she was 20 or something.
Yeah but she's a very mature 39 when she played the part. Renee Elise Goldsbury is in her 50s, but I think slather some green paint on and she'd still be a believable Elphaba (just an example of a young looking older actress)
She sure is. She was 32 when she did Wicked,which opened 19 years ago.
This was the production I saw. I remember liking her.
Me too! I was only 8 years old, so my memory is that everything was fabulous and wonderful and perfect, but my mom was with me and to this day she’s still impressed by Ana’s performance.
I saw the tour of Pretty Woman (it was on the season tickets and I got to see Adam Pascal) and the Vivian just didn’t fit. She wasn’t bad at all, but her voice didn’t have the rock oomph to withstand being next to Adam Pascal. Plus the actress for her friend (can’t remember the character’s name) had KILLER vocals.
So in an already underwhelming show, I think her style of vocals just got entirely washed compared to Adam and the friend.
Pierre Jean Gonzalez as Hamilton on tour. Don't get me wrong, I loved Hamilton. But Pierre's performance felt a little...flat. I did not feel his ambition or energy in "My Shot" and he sounded like he was struggling a little bit with the rap. He played Usnavi in "In The Heights", so I had very high expectations.
Mandy Gonzalez as Angelica Schuyler. While she is definitely talented enough for the role, she kind of had a "belters" mentality when singing through Angelica's more rapid fire passages. She had a tendency to try to hang on to some notes longer than needed and she would get left behind by the pace for the song. I also feel she didn't have the amount of attitude Angelica has throughout the show.
Nikki M James as Emponine. She was great in Book of Mormon, but boy could she not hit those notes.
See also, Daphne Rubin-Vega as Fantine
I left that theatre angry that I had sat through her Fantine
I had to Google it just now, to see a bit of her performance, and I'm mad that I sat through those 30 seconds. I can't imagine having paid Broadway prices to see that.
I saw her unfortunately and I remember everyone around us was so happy when her character died 😂
I felt so bad for Nikki M James. I was at the stage door, and rabid movie fans were so awful to her. I remember overhearing this group of girls telling her she was “just okay,” and that she would never be Samantha Barks. I think that was the last stage door I ever went too, I couldn’t take it anymore. I didn’t find Nikki’s singing lacking, and thought her acting was top tier.
Same. I saw it in previews in March 2014 (it's my all time favorite, and my first and only time getting to see a show on Broadway) and was pretty disappointed since Eponine is my favorite character.
Don’t know if the actress I saw recently did an optional but I thought Nikki’s character in BOM had notes just as high. Might not be in the score though tbf, I don’t know it that well.
Ohh, she was… terrible. I felt so bad for not liking her when I saw it, because she was really trying, but, like… TOO hard. It made the notes WORSE. Half the time she sounded like she was screeching, and… definitely not the voice for Eponine.
I never saw them, but I've seen it repeated several times that KO wasn't right for the part of Satine in Moulin Rouge.
I thought she was fantastic. But the book is as thin as the paper bag she sings about in Firework. It's vapid, clunky and doesn't have an arc. But I don't care - that's not what the show is about (would it be better if they had a better book writer - of course!), but the spectacle of it all had me enjoying the show. All that said, I thought she was fantastic. Also, if 2 people don't have chemistry, it's not one of their faults...it's both.
They skipped the paper bag line in SF which was an excellent choice! “Do you ever feel… feel so paper thin, like a house of cards one blow from caving in”
That line was never in the show... probably because plastic bags didn't exist when the show is set, lol. I saw it in Boston before it went to Broadway and cringed waiting for the plastic bag line and they just skipped it. I think KO is incredible and I liked them in Moulin Rouge.
Tbh if two people don’t have chemistry, I think it is one person’s fault: the casting director. Especially for a show like this that hinges completely on believing the two leads have this instant, magical love connection, they really need to do chemistry tests as part of the casting process. Although it seems across the board no one cares about that anymore since the randomest, most incompatible celebrities keep getting cast as romantic leads in TV and movies too. You can’t just pick any two good looking famous people and assume they’ll click!
You nailed it!
Yeah, still think they did well though the lack of...fireworks with Aaron was apparent. After seeing later Satines, I still feel like Karen O absolutely BODIED them with their presence and vocal chops. The sparkling diamond in my eyes! 🤩
Karen Olivo goes by they/them.
I thought they were good when I saw the tryout in Boston but had absolutely zero chemistry with Aaron.
Karen Olivo as Satine was the first that came to mind with this prompt.
I didn’t love BdJ as the Baker. I didn’t see much chemistry or character development besides being oppositional to his wife. I was disappointed to see such a flat, grumpy performance of such a great role in such an energetic production.
Oh i loved him. I was so happy to see him instead of NPH bc I’m really not a NPH fan
I didn’t see NPH, and try to avoid comparisons. Completely respect your opinion.
In truth I am probably implicitly holding Chip Zien as the standard bearer for this role, and I missed his playfulness and goofy exasperation. This exposes my own bias when I see revivals, and that probably limits my enjoyment. So, in a way, thank you!
I agree. The chemistry between NPH and Sara Bareilles was off the charts and I just didn’t feel anything with BdJ
I actually saw BdJ’s understudy Jason Forbach who was PHENOMENAL. Had amazing chemistry with Sara and frankly, I walked away thinking people were really missing out on not being able to see him, he was that outstanding. Really beautiful and stellar performance by him, and I really wished he would’ve been able to move into the role.
I never got to see it in person, but hearing just the cast recording itself, Brandon Uranowitz feels like a total miscast as Leon Czolgosz in Assassins. The one Assassins clip I saw on Youtube of him showed that he was a good actor, but his voice is way too high for my ideal version of Leon Czolgosz who’s been portrayed with such a deep bass voice in the past. Brandon’s voice didn’t add anything to the cast recording.
I didn't care much for NPH as the Baker - I actually don't have the same general beef with NPH that a lot of people here do, but I thought he was way too cynical and couldn't sell the emotional transformation in the second half.
So I'm going to limit this to actors that I am personally fans of and think are super talented (so don't @ me) but I felt were miscast in the role. Disclaimer that no actor will suit every role, and no role will suit every actor. This is also *highly* subjective to what the individual likes in a role and think characterizes the role.
Aaron Tviet as Christian in Moulin Rouge - Listen, I love Aaron. He's widely considered to be one of the best Enjolrai ever, he was incomparable in Next to Normal. But the boy struggles with showing vulnerability, and a big part of Christian's character is that he's so intensely openhearted and vulnerable. Aaron brings the drama just fine, but really loses the relationship dynamic that I love so much in the original Moulin Rouge, of his wide eyed innocence making Satin believe in life again.
Renee Elise Goldsberry as Mimi in Rent - Similarly, Renee as an actor has a great natural reserve. It's what makes her such a fantastic Angelica, the natural poise and the sense that she's thinking before she speaks, even when she hasn't paused. It makes her a terrible Mimi, who has nearly weaponized vulnerability. I want my Mimis to *ache* with how vulnerable they are, which gets us on her side despite the whole "self destructive addict" thing.
And perhaps not strictly the same but stop casting Jordan Fisher in dramas. He's fine, but his true love and skillset is clearly comedic.
I just saw DEH for the first time ever and as someone who used to be a huge jordan fisher fan, it made me curious as to how he portrayed evan. Sam Primack was absolutely 10000/10 incredible and as someone who knows Jordan’s voice better than his performances, I was thinking about if he was able to show such vulnerability, if that makes sense. Evan is such a complicated character, I wish I could see everyone’s interpretation
I agree with Renee. She’s very cerebral and that’s a compliment. She is also incredibly poised.
But also Will Chase as Roger, who I felt was just emo not quite rock enough and way too old. Very forced at Roger’s effortlessly cool personality. Which always struck me as funny because I’ve definitely seen him show it just not in Rent. I guess he’s more cowboy cool though.
Thank you for saying this! I often feel like I’m the only person in the world who doesn’t think Aaron can do no wrong, his performance was completely flat for me in Moulin Rouge. I was honestly kinda hoping he wouldn’t get the votes to win the Tony because in any other year I don’t think he would’ve even been a frontrunner.
Agreed on Aaron. I’m in love with his talent but he did not shine in MR.
I know the show hasn't even opened yet, but I'm having a hard time imagining Josh Groban as Sweeney. Len Cariou's performance is just so iconic
I would argue that George Hearn’s performance is far more iconic, just due to the number of people who have seen it through the proshot.
I’m actually excited for it because I’ve always found Sweeney casting to suffer from the same problem as Jack Nicholson in The Shining: he always seems like he’s already a serial killer from the beginning. It’s partly the fault of how the show is usually directed too, but the way it’s written he starts as a grief struck widower only intending to avenge his wife and find his daughter, and then when things spiral out of control he basically snaps in Epiphany.
I kind of hope casting a more normal-seeming Sweeney is an indicator that this production is going to take a less stylized approach where Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett are troubled but realistic characters whose love (for their wife/daughter and for Sweeney, respectively) drives them to madness, rather than the sort of caricatures they’re usually played as. IMO it would be interesting to see a “grounded” version like that instead of one where the direction gives away from the get go that this is a dark and bloody story.
See the issue is the music gives it away from the start, even if you completely cut the opening number. The dies ire is everywhere in the orchestration, and the constant dissonance keeps you uneasy through the whole show.
The book also disagrees with your desire for a "grounded" Sweeney. As soon as he gets his razors, Sweeney sings about how they'll "drip ruby". He escaped Australia for the purpose of going back to London to kill Judge Turpin
I know he intends to kill Turpin from the beginning, but planning to exact a specific revenge is different from indiscriminately murdering everyone he meets. IMO he always shows up in London already seeming evil - I’ve never seen a production where Epiphany felt like it was actually an epiphany for the character, he’s always seemed the same before and after to me.
As for the opening number giving away the tone, Greek choruses have been a literary device forever. Most productions of Romeo and Juliet still treat the first part of the story as happy and romantic even though the prologue literally tells you they’re going to die. I’m obviously not expecting a production of Sweeney to be outright cheerful, but I’d like one maybe more along the lines of Hereditary’s arc: it starts out sad and dark, but then grief and anger fuel a descent into hell. The mood of Sweeney always feels kinda flat to me, and I do think the text suggests more of a build - the audience may know from the opening number who he’s going to become, but he shouldn’t know yet.
I think Josh should be able to pull it off. I saw him in a Sondheim tribute a few years back, where he did some Sweeney songs, & he did pretty good with them. Now that he has "The Great Comet" in his background, I think it gives him a little more heft for the role. Not discounting Cariou at all though....it's always hard to be as good as the original!! I was surprised they went with Josh as Sweeney though...I figured they'd have gotten him for Anthony, because he does seem more that type. He's done a great rendition of "Joanna" in concert before. After Comet, he deepened his voice more, so I think that'll help.
It's not so much how deep his voice is, more that he's got too beautiful a voice to play a murderous cannibal barber. My friend told me Comet was a good example of a more harsh Groban voice, but it was still pretty silky smooth
None of this is hampering my excitement though, you know I got my opening week tickets
I dunno, I kinda dig the contrast between a beautiful voice and a monstrous personality. That you can't help being compelled even though you know he's awful.
Ooh I never thought of it like that, you might've just changed my outlook on Groban for Sweeney
Yeah I'm expecting like, beauty with a dark undercurrent that gets more and more powerful and destructive. Honestly I think it'll be thrilling.
I mean Norm Lewis was well regarded when he played sweeney at the Barrow st theatre and he is also known for having a lovely voice
Agreed. I was really hoping for Ramin Karimloo or maybe even Norm Lewis as Sweeney!
Norm was a spectacular Sweeney in the Barrow Street production, I would have loved to see him in the role on Broadway!
Just made me think that Barrow Street had a thing for Phantoms. I would pay ridiculous amounts of dosh for a decent recording of Hugh Panaro and Carolee Carmello in that run.
I saw Katrina Lenk as Bobbie in Company and she seemed like the weakest link of the whole cast. She played her as like a daffy stoner kind of? It was a weird take. I much prefer Raul Esparza's disaster bisexual version of the character. Also I thought her voice left much to be desired, especially with Being Alive.
To be fair she had just come back from 2 weeks of vacation so maybe she was shaking off some rust.
I saw Company in that window where Nikki Renée Daniels played Bobbie and she was AMAZING.
I saw Company twice a few months apart, and the first time I didn’t really connect with Katrina’s Bobbie (and I was a huge fan of hers from the Bands Visit and a huge fan of Company, so I was a little disappointed) but I saw it again the week before it closed and something about her really worked for me that time. It’s hard to say what she did differently, but I was so glad I saw it again.
I saw the show several times from right after its reopening through closing night and I thought she grew into the role so much. She sounded better vocally to me, and I felt that her acting made up for any shortcomings in her voice. Her final Being Alive on closing night is truly the most I think I’ve ever cried in a theater.
I was fucking WEEPING during Being Alive the second time I saw her. My parents saw it with me both times and they had the same reaction. Ugh I’m still so sad it closed, I loved that production so much 😭
I did hear that from another person who’d seen it early in the run and then again later in the run - wasn’t able to see it a second time myself but I watched a video of Katrina performing Being Alive on a talk show or something a couple months before it closed and it was a totally different performance than when I’d seen her in previews. Like you said, not that different vocally, but she felt more connected to the material. Sadly can’t seem to find that video now for some reason.
I saw the first performance when the show came back from the shutdown and felt the same. She got Bobbi’s aloofness but was completely missing the sadness that’s supposed to underscore it, and agreed her voice wasn’t strong enough to carry the big solo numbers. I’ve heard Laura Benanti was the first choice for the US cast but she said no, what an incredible performance that would’ve been.
I saw it in March, and her “Being Alive” was phenomenal — she played the first half of the song defiant and angry (rather than the usual bitter and reflective), and it surprisingly worked really well.
Apparently that wasn’t her usual acting choice, though, so I might have seen an outlier.
I so wish Rosalie Craig would've transferred with the show.
I actually didn't mind this, I thought it put Bobbie more into the background and that that was a good thing.
The arc of "single person explores the complexities of marriage and eventually decides that she'd like to marry someone" is kind of weak / unsatisfying, particularly nowadays, but the combination of Lenk's low-key performance plus the staging (everything appearing in frames that come into / out of view) plus the galactically awesome supporting cast made the show feel more like A Bunch Of Funny Musical Vignettes About Marriage, with Bobbie just kind of acting as a framing device.
I have always felt Bobby’s arc is the weakest part of Company since the vignette structure makes his character development very…internalized? In a way that sort of makes the ending feel abrupt IMO. So I agree with what you’re saying that relegating Bobby to just the lens through which we see these other stories almost makes the themes of the show stronger. But ultimately his big numbers are what the structure of the show builds up to, so unless you’re going to just completely cut Marry Me a Little and Being Alive, I think having a Bobby that can’t pull them off is still an issue.
Raúl Esparza has said that the role of Bobby isn't actually acting, it's just reacting, which fits in with your comment 100%. I also agree that if you can't deliver Being Alive (I'm not saying she had to be Raúl, who is amazing, but you've gotta get close) you shouldn't be playing the part.
I still maintain Sutton is miscast in The Music Man
I completely agree. Marian is supposed to be an almost operatic legit soprano. I can’t stand the idea of a belting Marian.
I haven't seen it, or heard it, but I was floored at her casting!! I love her, she's amazing, but she is not right for the role. I am interested in hearing the OBC recording.
Seen it twice and I agree. Normally I enjoy Marian's songs, but all of hers are when I tune out. I just can't put m finger on it, but I don't enjoy her in the role.
This. I lost all interest in seeing it when I heard she was cast, and I like her. All wrong for Marion.
completely agree. I like sutton, but not for that role :( also iffy about hugh as harold (what I saw of his “ya got trouble” seemed so off) but I can at least buy into him a little better. marian really just needs to be a soprano
This is perhaps a very hot take but Ramin Karimloo did absolutely NOTHING for me as Jean Valjean.
I felt NOTHING, and didn’t particularly like how he sang it either lol
> Karimloo did absolutely NOTHING for me as Jean Valjean
["LOOK DOWN, JAVERT!!!"](https://www.tumblr.com/irlgambit/627572583608532992/whereisyourredscaaahf-this-is-what-i-hear-every?source=share)
Ramin is one of the only working actors that I can recognise has incredible talent but does nothing for me in terms of acting. I've seen him as Jean Valjean and Gleb and Phantom and yeah he can hit the notes really well but I can never completely believe his acting.
He wrecked me in Phantom at the Royal Albert Hall. I saw it live streamed in a movie theatre. The way he acted the finale was amazing. I’ll never forgive whoever made the decision to edit the show for the DVD. It isn’t the same.
This is how I feel about most of Ramin's roles. He's one of the only actors who I always see not as the character, but as Ramin Karimloo Singing. Jeremy Jordan is the same way for me.
I tend to feel that way about JJ too, but I really liked him in Waitress!
I thought Ramin’s acting in Funny Girl was amazing. However, Funny Girl’s plot line is a bit simpler than Les Miserables.
Michael Ball as Javert in the Les Mis Staged Concert. I think if he'd maybe done it 20 years ago he'd have been alright but his vocals went from average to genuinely shouting his way through the score towards the end of the run. It didn't help that his portrayal basically amounted to being a pantomime villain with no depth or thought behind his actions at all. Seeing him opposite John Owen-Jones was genuinely painful and left me feeling sorry for JOJ who truly always gives his everything and is honestly THE definitive Valjean.
I saw the staged concert and sat in the front row. Believe me when i say Michael Ball spits A LOT and i’m sure he spat on me several times
Omg yes I once watched from the circle as a few old ladies literally resorted to shielding themselves with their programmes to avoid the spit being rained upon them 😭
Saw Michael Ball and Les Mis and was ready to throw hands because he’s one of my all time faves for Marius… and then read Javert lol
I have a really hard time imagining his voice in that role so this tracks out imo
Oh God yes, I'll go as far to say as it was the worst performance of Javert by a professional I've seen. It felt like he was relying on the natural beauty of his voice to carry the part, but his voice didn't even fit. It really was poor.
I’m seeing phantom in October and I’m very pleased no one has mentioned any of the actors in this installment. I’m beyond excited
If it’s the same Phantom who was there in December, he was atrocious. The new Christine is incredible though, so happy I got to see her before she took over full time.
Ben Crawford I think I’d truly, the best Phantom. Period. It’s an EXTREMELY strong cast to close out the run
Daphne Rubin Vega as Fantine on the first broadway revival of Les Mis. Her vocal style did not mesh well with the role when everyone else remained in classical mode
Colleen Balinger in Waitress. She’s an Internet personality and should stay that way
I thought James Monroe Iglehart was an awful Lafayette, and I wasn't crazy about Mandy Gonzalez as Angelica. Part of the problem is probably because I'd watched the pro-shot about 1,000 times before I saw it in person, so I was very attached to the original cast, but when I saw it live, I kept an open mind. I thought the cast that I saw was generally really good. It's still literally one of the best shows I've ever seen, even without seeing the OBC. The actress who played Eliza in my production was exceptional! But the two really big names were disappointing. And I know that Mandy Gonzalez is amazing, but just not in that part. And Iglehart was great as Jefferson (I also saw him a few weeks later after he transferred to "Chicago" and he was great as Billy Flynn), but his Lafayette just wasn't right.
BTW I know your question wasn't specifically about "Hamilton," but that's the one show that I've seen fairly recently that came to mind.
Also, Jordan Fisher as Evan Hansen never made sense to me, but I didn't see it, so I can't really say. I know in the clips that I've seen online, he seems way too cool and collected for the role.
Didn't like Mandy in In The Heights, didn't like her in Hamilton. I don't know what it is but her voice doesn't work for me, nor her acting.
Patti in Company. She is like 30 years older than everyone else - it’s weird. I feel like the character is supposed to be like 10 years older.
If you look at her in the role alone she is amazing but I agree that she feels too old in comparison to the rest of the cast. The revival was my first major exposure to the show and I was so confused why Bobbie and her friends would have a friend who is SO much older than them
Hard agree. She’s amazing but it didn’t fit. I went in blind, and was very confused because I thought Patti was playing Bobbie’s mother.
Yeah, Elaine was only 6 years older than Larry Kert (and 5 years older than Dean Jones), although I think she read as older than she was. But even aside from her being too old, I honestly didn’t think Patti’s performance was that great - she was hilarious in the funny moments, but in her big acting scene at the end she just felt like Patti Lupone to me. I’ve always been under the impression Joanne is supposed to be borderline blackout drunk by the time she sings Ladies Who Lunch, and Patti seemed stone cold sober. Would’ve easily given the Tony to Jennifer Simard over her.
(Also this obviously isn’t Patti’s fault but while we’re on the subject, I hated the rewrite to have her offer up her husband to Bobbi - would’ve been much more interesting to keep the scene the same.)
I agree about keeping the scene the same! Why did they change it?!
That's pretty much my only gripe with the whole thing. I thought this revival was fantastic, but that scene felt so out of place. They kept the outdated language and it just didn't have the punch it needed.
Who knows. Didn’t want to play into the stereotype of bisexual people being cheaters? Or maybe they thought it would change the meaning of the scene too much to have her not just consider a relationship with Joanne, but a relationship with a woman in general. Although I would’ve preferred if they just made the character bisexual to begin with.
I was glad they kept Jamie’s proposal, I saw some people say it didn’t make sense to keep it but I liked the implication that he’s panicking about getting married to a man because it means accepting once and for all that he’s never going to have that idealized nuclear family with the wife and kids and the white picket fence, and a little part of him still hasn’t let go of that. So the proposal is like his last chance to reroute his life back to how he was always told it was supposed to go.
Probably gonna be downvoted to hell (no pun intended) for this, but Levi Kreis as Hermes on the Hadestown tour.
He gave me youth pastor vibes as Hermes tbh
Agreeee. This, or some business bro in a consulting/finance job. His voice is so great, but the mismatch between his voice and his look/how he carries himself is TOO much
Andy Mientus as Marius in the most recent revival of Les Miserables. Not really sure how that casting happened. He was simpering and wooden.
I feel like that's my internal image of Marius in general tbh, though I can see it.
All of the super muscular men who played Hedwig. Just felt off compared to John Cameron Mitchell or even Neil Patrick Harris
Also Katrina Lenk as Bobbie. \*ducks\*
Darren Criss was tough, gotta admit
I think liisi LaFontain wasn't right for satine. I don't know whether it was the direction of the show or her acting but I thought she was too strong. Like she's supposed to be dying from consumption but you don't even realise she's sick till the end