What Film or TV Star Would You Like to See on Broadway This Season? Playbill Readers Pick Their Favorites
By Michael Gioia
David Schwimmer, best known as Ross from TV's "Friends," and Paul Rudd, who also appeared in "Friends" and is famous for Judd Apatow films such as "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and "Anchorman," will hit the New York stage this season. As film and television actors continue to grace the stage, we wondered: What other celebrities would you like to see in the wings?
Here are some reader responses followed by our own commentary:
Sharyl Madeloni: Alan Rickman and Meryl Streep in Adam's Rib.
Three-time Academy Award winner Streep, who is also set to star in the upcoming film adaptation of Tracy Letts' August: Osage County, has yet to play opposite Rickman, the notable film actor who was recently seen on Broadway in Theresa Rebeck's Seminar. "Adam's Rib," the 1949 film starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, would be the perfect vehicle for the couple. The plot pits happily married lawyers, who would be played by Rickman and Streep, against each other in the courtroom. Rickman and Streep are known for portraying power-hungry roles — a battle of the sexes between the two would be quite entertaining. Anne Heche and Adam Arkin starred in a live radio adaptation of "Adam's Rib" in October 2003 in Los Angeles, but the work has never seen Broadway.
Jon Cooper: Sylvester Stallone in Expendables: The Musical.
Oscar nominee Stallone, best known for his portrayal of Rocky Balboa in the "Rocky" film franchise, co-wrote, directed and starred in the 2010 film "The Expendables." In the action film, Stallone stars as Barney Ross, leader of the "Expendables," a band of elite mercenaries who are given the task to assassinate the dictator of a small South American island. If you have doubts about a musical adaptation of "The Expendables," read about Rocky the Musical, co-produced by Stallone, which will be given its world premiere in Germany this fall and has plans for a Broadway life in 2013. If Expendables: The Musical never comes to fruition, it won't be long before Stallone joins the Broadway community with Rocky.
Helen Herrera: Dianna Agron as the title role in Cinderella.
Agron, who plays Quinn Fabray on the Fox hit musical series "Glee," might have some free time on her hands now that her character on "Glee" has graduated from McKinley High. The actress, who proved to be a triple-threat on the series, would be a fitting match for the rags-to-riches title character in Cinderella. A Broadway production, starring Laura Osnes in the title role, is in the works, but if Osnes is ever in need of a replacement, producers may want to consider the "Glee" star. After all, Darren Criss proved to be a success with his run in How to Succeed… earlier this year.
Jeffery Wines: Cher in Mame!
Academy Award-winning actress and Grammy Award-winning singer Cher, who is known for "The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour" as well as her award-winning performance in "Moonstruck," is currently at work developing a musical based on her career. In the meantime, the singer-actress could star in the title role in a revival of the Jerry Herman musical Mame. About a decade ago, there were talks about the Oscar winner taking on the role of eccentric Auntie Mame, and Herman was reportedly thrilled with the idea that Cher would be singing his score.
Earl Minfield: Mario Cantone reviving Torch Song Trilogy.
Comedian and actor Cantone is known for his appearances on Comedy Central as well as the HBO series "Sex and the City." The Tony nominee has also been seen in a handful of Broadway productions, ranging from plays to musicals to his one-man show Laugh Whore. Harvey Fierstein's Tony Award-winning Torch Song Trilogy centers on Arnold Beckoff, a gay drag performer who has a tempestuous relationship with his bisexual, closeted lover. Cantone would be an ideal choice for a Broadway revival.
Patricia Catchouny: Hugh Jackman in Barnum.
Barnum, the musical based on the life of showman P.T. Barnum, wouldn't be a stretch for Tony Award winner Jackman, considering he is slated to star in a Broadway-bound production of Houdini, based on the world's greatest illusionist. Jackman, who stars in the upcoming Les Miz film adaptation and is known for his work on the "X-Men" films, is no stranger to playing a title role — The Boy From Oz; Houdini; Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway. Why not add Barnum to the list?
Jeff Gentner: Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs in They're Playing Our Song revival.
Real-life husband and wife Menzel and Diggs have been seen together on stage in Rent, Wicked and The Wild Party (aside from their multiple film and television appearances such as "Rent" and "Private Practice"). It wouldn't be odd for them to co-star again in They're Playing Our Song, a musical that centers on a neurotic composer and a wacky lyricist who form a partnership and eventually fall in love. If not They're Playing Our Song, how about that Off-Broadway revival of Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years?
Mindy Freedlander Zajchowski: Scott Bakula in Into the Woods or Chicago.
Golden Globe winner Bakula, best known for his work on the television series "Quantum Leap," has been seen on Broadway in Is There Life After High School?, Marilyn and Romance/Romance. With talks of the Public's Shakespeare in the Park production of Into the Woods transferring to Broadway, Bakula might be able to return to the New Yok stage. If Into the Woods transfers, the production may lose a few of its key players due to prior commitments — a perfect time for Bakula to step in.
Michael Giorgio: Jack Nicholson in The Iceman Cometh.
Three-time Oscar winner Nicholson has yet to make an appearance on Broadway. The actor, known for his performances in "As Good as It Gets," "Terms of Endearment" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," among others, would fit in well in the Eugene O'Neill play. After all, Nicholson did play O'Neill in the 1981 film "Reds," about the life of John Reed.
Jean Mark Favorin: Mark Wahlberg in Li'l Abner.
Wahlberg, a two-time Oscar nominee for his performances in "The Fighter" and "The Departed," would take on the title role in Li'l Abner, the musical based on Al Capp's comic strip of the same name. The actor, producer and former rapper, known in his early years as Marky Mark — who got his start with New Kids on the Block and later became frontman of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch — clearly has the musical chops for Li'l Abner, the strapping, yet simple-minded, star of the 1950s musical. A revival of the musical would give Wahlberg his Broadway debut.
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