Earlier this week The New York Times ran a story about how the lack of a major star often kills a Broadway show. Referencing the imminent death of Promises, Promises in January (after the exits of Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth), and the departure of Academy Award winner Catherine Zeta-Jones (did you remember she won an Academy Award?) from A Little Night Music, the article brings to the forefront some sad truths about the current state of Broadway. Generally, a show loses millions of dollars when a big ol’ famous person isn’t at the helm.
A lot of rumors get tossed around about replacement casts and stunt casting to lift sagging shows’ box office receipts, so we thought we’d throw in our two cents and bring you five moves we DARE Broadway to try. Because they’d be so damn sweet…
The Addams Family – Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves
Apparently John Leguizamo and Minnie Driver just turned down the soon-to-be-departing Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth’s roles in The Addams Family. It’s possible that they simply looked at the offer and told their respective agents, “I’m sorry, why did anyone think we worked for these parts?” But no worries — why not just cast one of America’s favorite rom-com/action/supernatural thriller pairs? Sandra Bullock’s been talking about wanting to do a stage show, and Sad Keanu has probably been subconsciously wishing to don a thin mustache and do some real physical comedy. They could even make some coy references to Speed. We LOVE coy references to Speed.
The Lion King – An Actual Lion
Sure, puppets on sticks are great, but what would get kids more excited than an actual lion frolicking amongst the actors? Nothing, that’s what. We honestly can’t think of anything wrong with putting a real live lion in this show, so we’re just going to leave it at that. Note to Julie Taymor, director of The Lion King: take yourself a little break from Spider-Man and give Disney a call on this. You can just use one of the trained lions from The Constant Gardener.
American Idiot – Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Does he play the guitar? Who cares! We want JTT. Imagine the hordes of women — now in their mid-to-late-twenties — who would come out of the woodwork to see their former Home Improvement heartthrob in action. Didn’t he sing a little in Tom and Huck? Don’t you remember Tom and Huck? Whatever. He can figure out the songs, they’re all like two chords.
Jersey Boys – Four of the 5 Backstreet Boys
This idea is almost too good to even be considered a dare. Seriously, are any of the Backstreet Boys doing anything else right now? The show already has “Boys” in the title, so they have that going for them. The better question becomes which Backstreet Boy we erase from this equation. OH WAIT THIS JUST IN: The goatee-d Kevin Richardson apparently left the band in 2007. So they’re actually ALREADY a four-piece. Sweet Jesus, Broadway! We just wrote history for you.
Mary Poppins – Julie Andrews
In all sincerity, wouldn’t this be the cutest thing ever? She’s still adorable and talented and lovely, and this would get her out of doing the Tooth Fairy 2. Time to make another call to Disney…