Sorry for the super blunt title, but I see no need to pussyfoot around the issue.
With last night’s live performance of The Sound of Music starring Carrie Underwood and inspired by Broadway.com’s article casting pop stars in other Rogers & Hammerstein shows, I started thinking about pop stars I’d like to see in the next TV musical (if they become a thing, and I hope they do). It wasn’t long before the obvious answer came to me: former Pussycat Doll, Nicole Scherzinger.
In 2010 Nicole was cast as Maureen in the Hollywood Bowl concert of Rent and many fans, myself included, were side-eyeing the decision pretty hardcore. We musical theatre fans tend to get pretty judgmental and protective when a pop performer is cast in a beloved show, but we all got a lesson in making snap decisions when she turned out to be brilliant. Her “Over the Moon” performance is the absolute top and “Take Me or Leave Me” is no less impressive.
Nicole has continued to kind of flirt with musical theatre over the years, turning in spectacular performances such as this stunning rendition of “The Phantom of the Opera” where she holds her own against no fewer than four professional West End actors:
Not only can Nicole sing and own a stage, but she can dance like nobody’s business. So what would be a good role for her to take on?
I know I would personally love to see a new version of West Side Story and I think Nicole would make an excellent Anita. She’s got the passion and energy that are necessary to truly bring Anita to life and would undoubtedly do an excellent job with that Jerome Robbins choreography. Plus, West Side Story is a classic right up there with The Sound of Music so if this is the direction broadcasting companies want to go I could see it being a distinct possibility.
Another role she could be excellent in might be Eva Peron in Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s Evita. I personally love the original film with Madonna in the title role and don’t really feel the need for a remake, but after seeing Nicole absolutely kill the famous “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina”, I’d love to see what else she could do with the material.
Just imagine how fierce her “Buenos Aires” would be!
If TV musicals with pop stars are going to continue, Nicole better lead at least one of them. Honestly, she could probably lead all of them and I’d be just fine.