Nicole Scherzinger needs to be in the next TV musical.

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.

Nicole Scherzinger 2Now, if you’re not familiar with Nicole, you may find this notion a bit surprising, but she’s actually quite the obvious choice if you look at some of her performances in the last few years.

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Theatre Thursdays: The Show Must Go On…

Ricky Martin…unless your high-profile celebrity cast member is leaving. Then the show apparently can’t go on. Nope, not at all, not even possibly. At least this is what I seem to be hearing from the announcement that Broadway’s Evita revival will be closing when Ricky Martin, Elena Roger, and Michael Cerveris leave the show.

Despite earlier claims that the show would re-cast and continue on with new leads when its opening cast departed (you know, like ANY OTHER open-ended production) Evita‘s producers have decided that the show simply can’t be done with anyone else in the leads. According to producer Hal Luftig:

“Our extensive search for a new cast presented the significant challenges of not only replacing a high-caliber trio of stars but also synchronizing the schedules of potential replacements with that of the production,” said Mr. Luftig. “Despite going down the road with a variety of artists, the planets have simply not aligned for us to engage the right talent at the right time. Therefore, we have made the decision to end this incredible journey on a high note on January 26 with our original stars intact.”

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Theatre Thursdays: Do You Hear the Trailer Sing?!

Brace yourselves, mesdames et monsieurs, citoyens et citoyennes, gamins et gamines:

I have a really visceral response to anything about this movie. The first time I saw this trailer a few days ago, I may have cried a little, I was so overwhelmed. My exact response was “I WORDS AND HEAD EXPLODING”, which I think accurately sums up my feelings in the most coherent way possible.

The more level-headed Fiyero3305 has pointed out to me some issues with this movie, such as the fact that there are no French actors in an adaptation of a classic French novel and that the casting itself sort of just happened without much auditioning or anything, but I am just so happy that Taylor Swift isn’t Eponine that I am looking past that for now.

And this trailer in and of itself: I’m so happy that they chose to make Fantine the central feature of it, with her song tying together the myriad snippets of character introductions. I’m happy about the barricade and the way they managed to introduce most of the named characters in the trailer without it seeming crowded (Les Mis is a very crowded musical). I’m loving the scenery and the costumes and the—well, pretty much everything. Any thoughts on this from the peanut gallery?

Why Elementary’s casting choices are less than groundbreaking

Elementary is a new pilot being pitched by CBS. It features a new and exciting idea: a modern-day re-imagining of the classic tales of Sherlock Holmes.

Me too, Moriarty.

Oh wait, the BBC already did that. And I challenge you to imagine someone other than Benedict Cumberbatch’s cheekbones playing Sherlock. So maybe the idea isn’t so new and exciting.  I also challenge you to imagine a show about Sherlock Holmes set in New York City rather than 221B Baker Street. But the US has rebooted British shows before with varying degrees of success, The Office being the most notable example. So what’s the dealbreaker for me?

The news broke last night that CBS has made a “radical” casting choice: they gave Watson a pair of ovaries and cast Lucy Liu in the role. And let me set this straight before I go any farther: it’s great that an Asian-American actress is getting a lead role in what may become a popular TV show that may challenge preconceived gender roles. But here’s why I disapprove:

To me, it’s clearly an attempt by the show writers to distance itself from the more famous Sherlock. And it’s the safest way they possibly could do so. So safe. Why?

  • They’re not really making waves. Having a chick as the less-intelligent, here-for-the-audience-to-empathize-with sidekick is such old news. Having a person of color as the sidekick is more of the same. It’s marking itself as subversive when it really isn’t.
  • It slants the possibility of romance between Sherlock and Watson (something everpresent in most recent Sherlock adaptations) into a nice, packageable heterosexual pairing.

What would have been really ‘radical’? Gender-switching Sherlock instead. I know the out-of-touch-with-society-female-genius thing has already been done with Bones, but this would easily blow Bones out of the water if it were done right. Taking everything about Sherlock—the genius, the addictions, the amorality, the societal dysfunction—and making him a her, that would have been awesome and actually groundbreaking. There are so, so many portrayals of bizarre male genius on the airwaves. Switching up a role in a way that would actually shake people’s preconceptions? Now that’s elementary.