|Gaby Roslin as Sally Albright|
Superstar blog: Jesus Christ & other miscasting
Date: 17 May 2012
With the news that Chris Moyles is to play King Herod in the arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, it got me thinking about other bizarre casting choices in other shows. Which cast lists have made you think that it was April Fool's Day when they were announced? Here are some of mine.
When Harry Met Sally - starring Gaby Roslin.
Picture the scene - we need someone who can carry off the Meg Ryan kookiness - Gaby Roslin? You would have been laughed out of the meeting, but this is exactly what happened. The result? A car crash, particularly during the famous "I'll have what she's having" scene which was unbelievably bad. The Wizard of Oz - starring Russell Grant
Stunt casting gone mad and to all those who say - "Wait until you see him" - I did and the effect was bewildering. He had no stage presence, no timing and could not sing. Ok, some of the songs were designed to almost be spoken but it was the equivalent of watching your uncle get the role. As for the Strictly dance scenes which was added - it would not have got a "sev-uurrrrn." Rent - starring Caprice
Miming, no acting ability whatsoever - one of those nights when you long for an understudy to trip the 'star' up and grab all the limelight. This was one of the worst performances I have ever seen. Idina Menzel played the role of Maureen and in her capable hands there was an off the wall performance with enough emotion within the vocals. Here, there were just tumbleweed moments whenever the lady was on stage.
What shows have you seen, which you feel were miscast? Stunt casting - whichever way you look at it, might get people into the theatre and give newspapers something to print but does the bizarre cast choices make the audience stay or go? In the three cases above, you'd beg to get out.
Jesus Christ Superstar arrives in Manchester 30 September and Liverpool on 16 October.
It stars Tim Minchin, Melanie C and Chris Moyles. Jesus has not been found yet - the search begins soon and we'll be blogging about the show once the auditions are televised. Watch this space.
- by Glenn Meads
Any opinions expressed above do not represent the view of Whatsonstage.com nor any of its staff or contributors beyond the bylined author.
|Glenn has covered the Manchester theatre scene for Whatsonstage.com since 2001. Since then he has edited whatsonstage.com/manchester and he currently edits the North West site, as well as providing news, reviews, features and competitions.|
|Think that much depends on the attitude of those involved. Celebs know that, in most cases, they are cast just to draw crowds so feel that once tickets are sold their work is done. If they're willing to make an effort ( or if the director requires them to do so) it can work out. Justin Moorhouse and Will Young turned in fine performances at The Royal Exchange - Dave Cunningham||21 May 12|
|Have to admit that I dread the idea of Chris Moyles as Herod - but don't like casting for 'celebrity' at all. I'd much rather see a great performance by an unknown than a dire one by someone only cast for their name. However there are lots of well known and excellent actors out there so cannot see any reason for the celebrity fixation when casting. - Helen Jones||19 May 12|
|Have to agree with you 100% about Russell Grant, he was woeful! All the while there was an air of 'He's going to go wrong isn't he?' and he did, time and time again! The scene with the hot air balloon was laughable. It was the worst acting I have ever witnessed but even worst was when we were waiting at the stage door for a cast member friend he came out with a MINDER and was wearing sun glasses at night with a hood pulled over his head! That was funnier than anything he did on stage!! - Fanzilla||18 May 12|
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