Printer Friendly - Roles they DIDN'T get....


Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by evadiva 2010-11-06 14:53:09


I haven't posted on here in forever - I was wondering if any of you guys had stories of actors who were up for certain roles that ended up going to someone else. I love hearing casting stories.

Did a search on here but came up empty....

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by darquegk 2010-11-06 15:07:16


According to legend, Elvis Presley was offered the role of Tony in the film of West Side Story, but his megalomaniac manager Colonel Tom Parker forced him (against his will) to turn it down, saying "Elvis only does Elvis movies."

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by ClapYo'Hands 2010-11-06 15:12:37


Bobby Darin was then one of the front-runners for the role but also had to withdraw due to clashes with a tour he had.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by qolbinau 2010-11-06 16:21:08


Patti LuPone wasn't cast as the replacement for Peters in SUNDAY

And she called Trevor Nunn about NIGHT MUSIC but he "never called her back".

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by ColorTheHours048 2010-11-06 18:04:41


I believe Sherie Rene Scott was up for Desiree in Nunn's ALNM, but she was dropped when they decided to go the celeb route and Catherine was available.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Jon 2010-11-06 19:06:46


Karen Ziemba was down to the final two for the lead in CRAZY FOR YOU. Jodi Benson got the part. Karen did the national tour and then replaced Benson on Broadway. General consnsus was that Karen was much batter in the role.

Of course, right after the show opened, the buzz in "Theatre Week" magazine (this was 1992 - before the days of internet chat rooms)was "Who should replace the two leads in CRAZY FOR YOU?", with readers sending in their suggestions - "Mandy and Bernadette", etc.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by steven22 2010-11-06 19:12:46


Stephanie J. Block was the original Elphaba in many of the Wicked workshops and was later replaced by Idina Menzel (as many already know). Block later played Elphaba on tour and on Broadway.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by morosco 2010-11-06 23:00:15


Nathan Lane was up for the role of Seymour in the original production of the musical LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by chewy5000 2010-11-06 23:10:47


Robert Morse was also considered for Wicked I believe

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Gothampc 2010-11-06 23:18:18


Faye Dunaway as Norma in a Sunset Boulevard production. Along with Patti LuPone, she is a charter member of the "We hate Andrew Lloyd Webber Club".

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by winston89 2010-11-06 23:19:39


Morse, I believe, played the role of The Wizard Of Oz in Wicked during the show's out of town run in San Francisco. However, he was replaced by Joel Grey for the opening of the show on Broadway.

I know that this is not Broadway but there was a pop singer who was scheduled to get the role of The Phantom in The Phantom of The Opera but it ended up going to Crawford. I am drawing a blank on the name of the singer who ended up not getting the role.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by singtopher 2010-11-06 23:22:05


Nikki Snelson was all but cast as Val in the CHOURS LINE revival. It's very well documented in "Every Little Step"

I think Robert Morse did play the Wizard at one point.


ETA: Winston- I just now saw your previous post. I was probably writing mine right as you posted it.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by TheatreFreak05 2010-11-06 23:23:44


Faith Prince was also up for Audrey in the original Little Shop, which is interesting because she and Nathan Lane ended up being cast together in the Guys and Dolls revival.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by winston89 2010-11-06 23:27:14


singtopher,

Morse did play the role of the wizard during the show's out of town tryout. However, he was recast when the show moved to Broadway.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by singtopher 2010-11-06 23:28:42


Thats what I had thought, but I wasn't sure.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by provocation 2010-11-06 23:30:01


Sara Ramirez has spoken about being considered for the role of Elphaba in "Wicked" and eventually losing the role to Idina Menzel.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by jdtp12 2010-11-06 23:34:06


"I know that this is not Broadway but there was a pop singer who was scheduled to get the role of The Phantom in The Phantom of The Opera but it ended up going to Crawford. I am drawing a blank on the name of the singer who ended up not getting the role."

I'm guessing you're thinking of Steve Hartley?

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Jon 2010-11-06 23:41:42


At one point, Kevin Spacey was up for Nathan Detroit in the 1992 Guys & Dolls revival. It would have been a reunion with Peter Gallagher (they had done "Long Days Journey into Night" a few years earlier). Of course, they were later reunited on film in "American Beauty".

James Naughton was also considered for Sky in that production.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Gothampc 2010-11-06 23:43:05


"Faith Prince was also up for Audrey in the original Little Shop"

I think she eventually was an Audrey replacement.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Mistress_Spouzic 2010-11-06 23:53:00


My favorite related story was Matthew Morrison turning down the role of Rocky in Rocky Horror Picture Show to be in a boy band. When it failed, he later joined the cast as a phantom. Heh.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by chewy5000 2010-11-06 23:58:44


John Lennon was rumoured for the Original Jesus Christ Superstar (How well found the rumours were is debatable)

Roger Moore was initially cast as George in Aspects of Love. In fact, Aspects and Sunset both had difficult times in casting,

You also get Julie Covington, who to the distress of everyone involved, repeatedly turned down the role of Eva on stage.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by madbrian 2010-11-07 00:17:40


In the late 70s, the producers of the movie Kramer Vs Kramer wanted a successful TV actress to play against Dustin Hoffman, but the TV producers wouldn't rework her shooting schedule to accomodate. So, the movie producers had to 'settle' for Meryl Streep. The TV actress? It was Kate Jackson, and Aaron Spelling wouldn't free her up from her Charlie's Angels schedule to do the film.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Overkill 2010-11-07 01:24:33


Some more on Nathan Lane (huge fan here) He was offered The Birdcage and originally turned it down, due to schedueling conflicts with A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To The Forum, but the producers worked around it so he could do both. After doing Birdcage, he was only offered two other films, Mouse Hunt (which he took) and the title role in Mr. Magoo. Another fun fact, Nathan and Ernie Sabella both auditioned for The Lion King together as two of the three Hyenas, but improved so well, the writters wrote Timon and Pumba especially for them.

He was offered the role of Buzz in the Love! Valour! Compassion! movie, but chose The Boys Next Door instead. A choice he says he regrets. Jason Alexander replaced him in the movie, which is a bit ironic, because Nathan auditioned for the role of George in Seinfeld. And Rosie O'Donnell auditioned for Elaine. One more Nathan fun fact, I believe he chose to do The Addams Family over Catch Me If You Can.

Henry Winkler was offered the role of Danny in the Grease movie, but turned it down because it was too close to the Fonz on Happy Days.

John Tartaglia starred in workshops of Zanna, Don't! (retitled at the time, ZANNA) for a Broadway run. It didn't work out.

Kelsey Grammer was in the original cast of Sunday in the Park With George when it played off broadway as the Soldier, but turned down the Broadway run in order to play Frasier on Cheers.

Paul Reubens (Pee-Wee) said in a recent interview that he was offered to replace Alan Cumming in Cabaret, Matthew Broderick in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and one other show that I'm drawing a blank on.

Britney Spears was offered to replace Christina Applegate in Sweet Charity back in '05. She considered it for a while, I believe.

Eric Mcormick, Debra Messing and Sean Hayes were all auditioned for Young Frankenstien (So was Douglas Sills). The only Will & Grace cast member in it was Megan Mullaly, though. Cloris Leachman did early readings, but Mel Brooks chose to cast Andrea Martin instead, citing Cloris was too old to handle an 8 show a week scheduel, but after her Dancing With the Stars stint, he changed his mind and cast her as a replacement, but the show closed before she was able to step in. Jack Black was offered either Dr. Frankenstein or Igor (Mel Brooks told him he could choose) but he turned it down.

Andrea Martin was offered to open Seussical as The Cat in the Hat, but decided to pass to spend time with her son at home, who was about to head to college.

Mandy Moore was offered to replace Kristin Chenoweth in Wicked, but she turned it down, claiming she could never follow someone like Kristin. Smart girl.

Richard Dryfuss was to open The Producers in London, when he injured himself two weeks before opening and Nathan Lane was flown in to save the show.

Ethel Merman was offered Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly! and turned it down. She went on to be the last Dolly in the original run and it was her last Broadway role.

Carol Burnett wanted to replace David Alan Grier in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum as Pseudolus, but the show closed before she was free.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by ljay889 2010-11-07 01:29:53


I believe Sherie Rene Scott was up for Desiree in Nunn's ALNM, but she was dropped when they decided to go the celeb route and Catherine was available.

I've never heard that, and I obviously followed the casting process very closely. Victoria Clark and Marin Mazzie were the Broadway names tossed around at first. Not sure whether Clark was more than a rumor or not, but Mazzie was seriously considered.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Brick 2010-11-07 02:14:58


Patti was offered the original workshop of PASSION, but chose SUNSET instead.

Anne Heche was in negotiations to headline the 1st Nat'l Tour of CABARET, which ended up starring Teri Hatcher.

Madonna seriously considered playing Sally on Broadway, but it was decided there wasn't appropriate security for it. I never understood that.

Madonna also turned down the London revival of CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Peter Hall directed starring Brendan Fraser.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Overkill 2010-11-07 02:26:51


Just thought of a couple more. lol

Hilary Duff was offered The Wedding Singer as a replacement for Laura Benanti when she was missing a lot.

Rosie was offered Madame Thenadier in Les Miz, back in '06 during her run on The View.

Conan O'Brien was offered Harold Hill in The Music Man, but couldn't due to his late hours on his show.

Glenn Close and Meryl Streep both auditioned for Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd.

Nathan Lane was offered Tevye in the Fiddler on the Roof revival, but turned it down in fear of forever being seen as following in Zero Mostel's shadow.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by evadiva 2010-11-07 03:04:27


What a treat these stories are - thank you!

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by madbrian 2010-11-07 06:30:17


On film, I've read that Eric Stoltz had 'this clos' to getting every role back in the 80s, from Marty McFly in the Back To The Future series to Teen Wolf.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by jamiekennywicked 2010-11-07 07:26:47


Great thread
It's not Bway but Jodie Prenger (winner of I'd Do Anything and played Nancy in Oliver!) I believe got to the final stages of Tracey auditions for Hairspray in London but the production was postponed.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by gvendo2005 2010-11-07 08:16:51


Ted Neeley keeps on telling this story (perhaps as a hint to casting directors who only picture him in a white robe with open arms) of how he didn't even want to touch Jesus with a ten foot pole. He originally auditioned for the part of Judas in JCS, only to be told by Tom O'Horgan to "come back tomorrow and sing the other guy." And (he says) he's been playing the other guy ever since.

(While I'm not at liberty to share exact details, he has in fact recently been offered the opportunity to play both Judas and Jesus in JCS in a double cast repertory type situation, a unique experience for JCS and Ted fans, to play NY or LA. No word yet on further details.)

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by chrissydee 2010-11-07 08:32:39


Movies:

Toni Collette was (apparently!) offered Roxie in the Chicago movie, and Kathy Bates was first choice for Mama Morton. Apparently John Travolta was offered Billy Flynn too. And, as an interesting fact, apparently Babara Streisand was offered the film to direct.

Nicole Kidman was Ulla in the Producers film- but dropped out.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by husk_charmer 2010-11-07 09:50:00


Doris Day desperately wanted Annie Oakley in the film version, but didn't get it.

Also, Judy Garland was supposedly signed to do one of Mary Martin's vacations in South Pacific, but chickened out. (Not sure how much truth there is to it)

Jenna Elfman was supposed to replace Jane Krakowski, and made it as far as dress rehearsals when they decided she couldn't sing it.

Elizabeth Seal was cast as Cassie in Chorus Line in London, but Bennett (who I believe had just married Donna) decided that she wasn't working, so Donna went in and replaced her until Petra Siniwaski was ready to go in. (I'm not sure if she was there during previews and the first few weeks, or if it was a few performances.)

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by maxximumvolume 2010-11-07 10:28:07


madbrian, Eric Stoltz actually filmed for 5 weeks on Back to the Future before the director and producers decided that his take was just too dark and the antithesis of the tone they wanted for the film. So they were able to convince the studio to recast, and the rest is Michael J. Fox history.

Here is some footage:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wudNasQbv0

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by ray-andallthatjazz86 2010-11-07 10:55:42


Was Toni Collette actually offered Roxy? Or did she just audition?
Speaking of CHICAGO, the choice for Mary Sunshine came down to Christine Baranski and Kristin Chenoweth (who I beieve also auditioned for Roxy, but they were gonna cast that role with a star)...obviously Baranski got the part.
Nicole Kidman also got offered Roxy but turned it down to do MOULIN ROUGE. Both Catherine Z. Jones and Renee Zellweger auditioned for that movie, but Kidman got the part. Interestingly enough, Zellweger was pretty crushed when she put herself through the audition process (which obviously included singing and dancing) for that movie and didn't get the part, this almost kept her from meeting with Rob Marshall about CHICAGO. On the other hand, Jones was allegedly given the choice to play either Velma or Roxy.
Charlize Theron was attached to play Roxy when Nicholas Hytner was attached to direct the film, when he dropped out, Marshall had her audition for him but chose to go with Zellweger instead.
Meryl Streep got offered SWEENEY TODD but turned it down, at the time she claimed "scheduling conflicts," but there were rumors back then that she had already been approached by Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks about MAMMA MIA and so she had a different movie musical to do in time.
Streep was also cast as the title role in EVITA when Oliver Stone was set to direct the film, but that project never took off.
Donna Murphy and Catherine Z. Jones both turned down the chance to appear in the ANYTHING GOES revival directed by Kathleen Marshall, Murphy didn't want to be in a revival and Jones felt the role wasn't right for her to make her Broadway debut at the time.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by MadonnaMusical 2010-11-07 10:57:05


Cyndi Lauper was also very much considered for Sweeney Todd, but once Johnny Depp was set as Sweeney, Helena became pretty set too.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Brick 2010-11-07 11:08:13


Cyndi Lauper auditioned for the SWEENY 2005 revival, and really impressed the creatives, including Sondheim. But he told her Patti had already been offered the part, and on her birthday no less.

The CHICAGO film over the 27 years had everyone in it! Liza and Goldi Hawn wanted to do it, with Fosse directing, but he didn't want to. He had a change of heart after the flop of "Star 80". He had a meeting with Kander and Ebb for the Friday after the Tuesday he died. He had already met, though, with Madonna for Roxie. After "Evita", Madonna was attached to "Chicago" again, as Velma, and opposite Goldie Hawn's Roxie and Rosie O'Donnell's Mama Morton. There was no director attached. Rosie dropped out, Pam Grier replaced her. Nicholas Hynter came onboard as director and fired Goldie for being too old. Madonna balked and left, causing the whole project to fall apart before Rob Marshall met with Harvey Weinstein a couple years later.

Vanessa Williams (also considered for the CHICAGO film) was originally attached to LaChuisa's THE WILD PARTY, having been in the first workshop. She dropped out due to pregnancy as Tony Collette was found.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Borstalboy 2010-11-07 12:36:30


Got the old "It's just not working out" speech:

Lisa Kudrow as Daphne on FRASIER.
Michael Keaton in THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO.
Harvey Keitel in THE SUNSHINE BOYS and again four years later in APOCALYPSE NOW.
Martha Plimpton in some Woody Allen play at the Atlantic.
Sigourney Weaver in Nicol Williamson's early eighties production of MACBETH.
Laura Benanti in THE VIOLET HOUR.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by strummergirl 2010-11-07 12:39:41


Russell Crowe along with Meryl Streep were attached to the movie adaptation of Sweeney Todd when Sam Mendes was set to direct.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by chrissydee 2010-11-07 12:41:43


Bette Midler turned down Sister Act on film, causing it to go to Whoopi!

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Borstalboy 2010-11-07 13:01:00


Jumping to Whoopi: JUMPIN' JACK FLASH was supposed to go to Shelley Long, BURGLAR was conceived for Bruce Willis, and FATAL BEAUTY was created for Cher.

As for Cher, she recently said she turned down THELMA AND LOUISE to her regret and John Patrick Shanley apparently wrote MOONSTRUCK on spec for Sally Field (!!).

Sandra Bernhard also turned down the Annie Potts role in GHOSTBUSTERS.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Jon 2010-11-07 13:38:21


Greatest movie musical that was never made:

In 1975, when Harold Prince's revival of CANDIDE was a hit on Broadway, A movie version was announced with the following cast:

Peter Sellers as Voltaire/Pangloss
Elton John as Candide
Olivia Newton-John (pre-Grease) as Cunegonde.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by devonian.t 2010-11-07 13:49:01


Jon, truly?

By the way, the Phantom original was Steve Harley, not Hartley.

There are several names that were up for Andrew lloyd Webber's new Wizard of Oz as the Wizard, including UK TV comedy legends Bruce Forsyth and Ronnie Corbett.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by AC126748 2010-11-07 13:50:58


Cloris Leachman did early readings, but Mel Brooks chose to cast Andrea Martin instead, citing Cloris was too old to handle an 8 show a week scheduel, but after her Dancing With the Stars stint, he changed his mind and cast her as a replacement, but the show closed before she was able to step in.

I thought that the "official narrative" there was that Brooks wanted to distinguish the stage play from the movie, which would have been impossible if Leachman was playing the same role that she originally played on screen.

Madonna as Maggie in CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF is interesting to think about. Frances O'Connor, who eventually played the role, was absolutely brilliant--as was Fraser. I was always surprised that they weren't asked to reprise their roles on Broadway.

Martha Plimpton left Woody Allen's A SECOND HAND MEMORY of her own free will, in order to do a movie. Elizabeth Marvel replaced her. The actress who was fired from a Woody Allen play at the Atlantic was Annabelle Gurwich, who used the incident as a catalyst for her book and documentary FIRED!

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by JOak 2010-11-07 13:53:07


Kaye Ballard was up for Mame.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by AEA AGMA SM 2010-11-07 13:54:19


"Lisa Kudrow as Daphne on FRASIER."

I thought Kudrow was cast as Roz (Peri Gilpin's character) but was replaced even before the pilot was shot. Either way, though, she still got booted from the show.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by AC126748 2010-11-07 13:58:58


You are correct. She was up for Roz. I don't know if she was actually cast or not, but that was the role for which she was under consideration.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by sorano916 2010-11-07 14:39:14


John Gallagher Jr. was asked to audition for WICKED but turned it down because he didn't think he could do musicals.

He also auditioned for the role of Robert Ford in the film "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" which ultimately went to Casey Affleck who got an Oscar nomination for it.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by AC126748 2010-11-07 14:50:56


Who would Gallagher have played in WICKED? Boq? I truly can't see him as Fiyero.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by jdtp12 2010-11-07 14:54:14


I'm not exactly sure if this counts, but I've heard Elaine Paige's only regret in doing Chess was not being able to be in Les Miserables. So I'm not sure if that means she was offered a role or if she just really wanted to do it..

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by quizking101 2010-11-07 15:07:04


Antonio Banderas and Javier Bardem were up for Guido Contini in the NINE flop (*cough*) film...Banderas was turned down and Bardem said No...good call on both counts.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Taryn 2010-11-07 15:12:30


I'm pretty sure Bardem said yes but had to be replaced because of scheduling conflicts.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by JOak 2010-11-07 15:31:09


Bardem backed out due to tiredness.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by ahhrealmonsters 2010-11-07 17:08:03


LaChanze was almost cast as Sarah in the original Ragtime, but one of the head backers insisted on Audra.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by aasjb4ever 2010-11-07 17:25:42


Celia Keenan-Bolger was the original Clara in Piazza, but Kelli O'Hara, then Franca, moved on up to play Clara

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Will42 2010-11-07 17:43:04


Roles that Angela Lansbury could've played (3 Oscar wins + 2 Oscar noms and 2 Tony wins):

Turned down:

ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST (Oscar win)
Angela Lansbury turned down the role of Nurse Ratchet because she 'couldn't bear her'. After she saw the movie she knew even more that she made the right decision. Ms. Lansbury said that Louise Fletcher is a great actress and deserves her Oscar very much.

FOLLIES (Tony win)
Turned down the role of Phyllis Rogers because of a schedule conflicts. Fellow MGM star Alexis Smith got the part.

THE KILLING OF SISTER GEORGE
Turned down the lead role of the lesbian soap opera star.
Actor who got the part: Beryl Reid

A TASTE OF HONEY
Was asked to reprise the role she originated on Broadway in a movie adaption, but turned it down.
Actor who got the part: Dora Bryan

TEA WITH MUSSOLINI
Angela Lansbury was cast in this film but had to withdraw when her husband became ill.
Actor who got the part: Joan Plowright


Was considered:

SUNSET BOULEVARD (Tony win)
Around 1980, Stephen Sondheim and Hal Prince were working on a musical adaptation (with Norma to be played by Angela Lansbury). She later had a meeting with Andrew Lloyd Webber to star in his production.

ALL ABOUT EVE
Lansbury was considered for the role of Miss Caswell.
Actor who got the part: Marilyn Monroe

BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE (Oscar win)
Lansbury (along with Ingrid Bergman and Olivia de Havilland) was one of the three major contenders for this role, but in the end Eileen Heckart repeated her stage success and won an Oscar.
Very happy for Ms. Heckart. Not only she was wonderful, but it's always nice when the actor who originated the role on stage is being cast in movie adaption.

MARY POPPINS (Oscar win)
Considered to play the stern nanny who helps change the life of the Banks family.

THE CORN IS GREEN (Oscar nomination)
Lansbury wanted to be cast in the role of Bessie, but was not loaned out.
Actor who got the part: Joan Lorring

A PLACE IN THE SUN (Oscar nomination)
Lansbury was one of the thirty actresses considered by the director, George Stevens, for the role of Alice Tripp. Shelley Winters got the part.

ANNA CHRISTIE
There was talk in the 1940's of remaking this role with Lansbury as Anna Christie, but it did not happen.
Actor who got the part: No One

EASY TO WED
Lansbury was originally thought of for this role.
Actor who got the part: Lucille Ball

FOREVER AMBER
Told Rex Reed that she was considered for the lead role, but added "What would I have done for bosoms?"
Actor who got the part: Linda Darnell

THE THREE MUSKETEERS
Lansbury begged MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer to let her play the Lady DeWinter part. He refused, insisting that she was better suited for the Queen Anne role--which Lansbury hated.
Actor who got the part: Lana Turner

THE GRADUATE
Angela Lansbury auditioned to play Mrs. Robinson.
Actor who got the part: Anne Bancroft

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Fosse76 2010-11-07 17:43:28


"LaChanze was almost cast as Sarah in the original Ragtime, but one of the head backers insisted on Audra."

She went on to originate the role in the Chicago production...I'm pretty sure she went on to play it on Broadway eventually.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Pianist3912 2010-11-07 18:22:00


She did replace Audra in the Broadway production I believe.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by pretendworld 2010-11-07 18:28:41


Anneliese van der Pol as Glinda in Wicked. 4 call backs and she didn't get it? figured they couldn't settle on a deal.

p.s.
loving this thread.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by AndAllThatJazz22 2010-11-07 18:36:49


Michelle Pfeiffer was also in consideration for the EVITA film, but wanted production to take place in a Hollywood studio as opposed to on location filming (which was the director's preference).

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by singingbackup 2010-11-07 18:53:26


LaChanze also played the role in the Los Angeles Production of Ragtime

Robert Morse turned down the role for Broadway as not to displace his family. (lucky enough to do a benefit with him, which is where I heard this...very sweet man)

At one point someone on Facebook, and I want to say Lin-Manuel Miranda, posted a great bunch of old broadway photos....one that caught my attention looked to be an audition sheet for the role of Tony, most likely stage version. Among the names on the call sheet were Bill Hayes, Larry Kert and Warren Beatty. WIsh I could find that gem again!

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Annas_Priest 2010-11-07 19:10:04


@singingbackup This picture?


Jerry Orbach auditioned for Chino!

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by husk_charmer 2010-11-07 20:02:00


Liza was actually a major contender for the Evita film in the 80s. From what I've heard she threw herself into the role.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by jdtp12 2010-11-07 20:42:51


Also with the Evita film, Webber once said that Madonna "beat out" Elaine Paige for the role. So I'm guessing that means she was in consideration as well.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Brick 2010-11-07 21:31:02


Patti was asked to do a screen test in the early 80s for EVITA, but she balked and told them to watch the commercial. I've also heard a rumour she was offered Eva's mother in the film, but turned it down.

In other EVITA offers, Placido Domingo was originally offered Peron, but turned it down.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Overkill 2010-11-07 23:30:09


Mario Cantone was offered to play Timon in the OBC of The Lion King, but he turned it down, because it was too tough of a show and he didn't enjoy the puppeteering in the workshops he did. Here he is telling the story himself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PM0LYdcz9a8

He was also in a workshop of The Producers as Carmen Ghia.

Kristin Chenoweth auditioned for Beauty and the Beast back in the 90s, didn't get it.

Dick Van Dyke was offered Bring Back Birdie, but smartly passed. His role of Albert, went to Donald O'Connor.

Ann Margaret auditioned/did a screen test for the movie of Hello, Dolly as Irene. There's footage out there.

Seth Rudetsky auditioned for The Litte Mermaid and got a call back or two.

Neil Patrick Harris was approached to do a Barnum revival a year or so ago. I don't know what ever came of that.

Jane Krakowski was set to star in Xanadu, but dropped out citing schedueling conflicts with 30 Rock.

Not Broadway, but the new Disney movie, Tangled, then called Rapunzel (which is how it should have remained) was originally going to be a classic Disney animated musical and had Kristin Chenoweth as Rapunzel and Dan Fogler as the Prince set to star. But then studio execs ****ed things up....

Brian d'Arcy James was in a reading of Young Frankenstein, but he says they didn't offer it to him, because "they wanted a star.". Kristin starred in the same reading as Elizabeth, but turned it down when offered to do Pushing Daisies.

AC126748, see below, please. :)

http://broadwayworld.com/article/Cloris_Leachman_Confirms_YOUNG_FRANKENSTEIN_Offer_on_The_View_20081030


Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by legally_popular 2010-11-07 23:42:54


Loving all these stories!


Wasn't Steven Pasquale supposed to play Fabrizio in The Light in the Piazza?

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by givesmevoice 2010-11-07 23:56:58


^ He played him in at least the Seattle production of the show, but either left or was replaced (I'm not sure which) when the show came to Broadway.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by The Distinctive Baritone 2010-11-08 00:03:33


Yes. Pasquale played Fabrizio in the two pre-Broadway productions in Chicago and Seattle, but couldn't do the Broadway run because the producers of "Rescue Me" weren't willing to shoot around his Broadway schedule. He said in an interview that having to turn down the Broadway run was one of the most devastating artistic experiences of his life.

And yes, Meryl Streep was offered Mrs. Lovett in the movie but turned it down, evidently deciding that two back-to-back movie musicals would be silly. Also, there was a rumoured Sweeney Todd film in the 80's that was to have starred Kevin Kline and (I sh*t you not) Julie Andrews.

Hugh Jackman said in an interview that he was offered Billy Flynn in the movie but turned it down because he felt that he was too young for it.

LOVING this thread. Keep 'em comin'!

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by givesmevoice 2010-11-08 00:08:15


Wasn't Rebecca Luker supposed to replace Mary Stuart Masterson as Luisa in the revival of Nine, but wound up going in as Claudia because Masterson decided to extend her contract?

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by singingbackup 2010-11-08 01:18:29


I do believe that's it!!!!

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Tsao5 2010-11-08 01:25:45


In the phantom of the opera room:

Donny Osmond and David Cassidy both wanted the role on The Phantom.

(recently Norm Lewis and Adam Pascal have both said they really want to play the role)

Mandy Patankin and Jonathan Pryce I believe were actually offered the role for London at some point in the beginning of its run.

Meatloaf was offered the role for the Canadian production

and, original Raoul, the late Steve Barton was offered the role of Scar in The Lion King.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by sorano916 2010-11-08 02:40:08


Haven Burton was in the role of Wendla in the first Spring Awakening workshop before Lea Michele joined.

Ben Walker was in the role of Melchior in the Lincoln Center workshop of Spring Awakening before Jonathan Groff joined.

Constantine Maroulis was in the role of St. Jimmy during workshops of American Idiot before Tony Vincent joined.

I also heard that Brian Charles Johnson was Will during one of the American Idiot workshops but I can't confirm that.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by husk_charmer 2010-11-08 03:28:42


^ Ya know, Haven is the only one who ever says she was Wendla at any point. Every thing I have ever seen published/discussed about that show says it was Lea Michelle always.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by ClapYo'Hands 2010-11-08 06:37:35


"Cyndi Lauper auditioned for the SWEENY 2005 revival, and really impressed the creatives, including Sondheim."

Well, she can't have been worse than Patti.

And yes, Elaine Paige was originally asked to be Fantine in London, but she turned it down to do Chess. Another Patti role.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by sbflyfan 2010-11-08 09:18:25


Barbara Dickson turned down the roles of The Mistress in "Evita" and Svetlana in "Chess" after doing the concept recordings, because of her solo recording and touring career.

I've also heard talks of Roseanne and Kathy Griffin being approached to fill in for Jackie Hoffman, but then Whoopi getting the role. Not sure of the validity of those two, though.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Brave Sir Robin2 2010-11-08 10:06:32


Seth Rudetsky auditioned for The Litte Mermaid and got a call back or two.

For what part, Ursula? Maybe Grimsby, but I think that seems odd.

Neil Patrick Harris was approached to do a Barnum revival a year or so ago. I don't know what ever came of that.

This needs to happen! I want NPH on Broadway!

And more television-related, but Chris Colfer was supposed to play Artie before playing Kurt.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Brick 2010-11-08 11:18:58


"I've also heard talks of Roseanne and Kathy Griffin being approached to fill in for Jackie Hoffman, but then Whoopi getting the role. Not sure of the validity of those two, though. "

Yup. Griffin passed and I imagine Roseanne did, too.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Jon 2010-11-08 13:13:28


Stephen Pasquale only played Fabrizio in Seattle. Wayne Wilcox played itat the Goodman.

The only cast members to to Seattle, the Goodman and New York, were the three principal parents - Victoria Clark, Mark Harelik and Patti Cohenour.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by husk_charmer 2010-11-08 13:39:40


Continuing the Cyndi Lauper train, she was signed to replace as the Witch in the original Into the Woods, but chickened out.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by bestfreakinshoes 2010-11-09 00:08:51


Allison Janney was approached to replace Marcia Gay Harden in God of Carnage and turned it down.

She's also expressed interest in doing Woman in Mind.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by anotherhundredpeople2 2010-11-09 00:20:44


Not totally broadway per say, but Shirley Temple was supposed to be Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz movie.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by AEA AGMA SM 2010-11-09 01:39:39


Shirley Temple was very briefly considered, but was never offered the role of Dorothy. The role was being developed for Judy Garland. MGM studio heads briefly balked about her lack of box office power and arranged a meeting at Fox with Shirley Temple. Upon meeting with Temple it was pretty quickly decided that she would not be able to handle the score as it currently stood, and even if they had liked her, it was highly unlikely that Fox would have ever loaned her out to MGM to shoot the picture. Judy really had nothing to worry about in terms of losing the role to Shirley Temple.

Judy, however, was supposed to do the movie version of Annie Get Your Gun. I don't remember if she ever made it into actual filming, but costume & make up test footage was shot and she did record her vocals before being replaced by Betty Hutton. Frank Morgan was originally set to play Buffalo Bill, but died after filming the opening number. He was replaced by Louis Calhern. The movie also went through three directors, with Busby Berkley being replaced by Charles Walters, who would then be replaced by George Sidney.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Overkill 2010-11-09 01:58:11


Brave Sir Robin2, it was for Flotsam and/or Jetsame.

Wayne Brady was set to play the Scarecrow in La Jolla's revival of The Wiz, but dropped out.

Phil Silvers was approached to play Pseudolus in the original production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. He turned it down, then played Marcus Lycus in the movie. Then, in the 80s he played Pseudolus in a Broadway revival.

James Cagney turned down the role of Alfred Doolittle in the My Fair Lady movie and Cary Grant turned down Henry Higgins, saying that he refused to ever even see the movie if Rex Harrison wasn't cast.

Jo Anne Worley screen tested for the part of Gussie Granger/Ernestina Simple in Hello, Dolly!, a role she had played in touring companies.

Julie Andrews turned down the films, Camelot, Bedknobs and Broomsticks (finding it to be too close to Mary Poppins), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and a cameo offered to her in The Boy Friend.

Before going to Madonna, Gloria Estefan was invited to play the role of Evita but did not accept because of political connotations the character might have. Jennifer Lopez said she auditioned for the movie.

Richard Dreyfuss was cast as Joe Gideon in All That Jazz, but dropped out before filming began. Paul Newman turned down the role.

Jodie Foster auditioned to play Roxie Hart in the Chicago movie. Director Rob Marshall is quoted as saying "For Roxie, I saw 10 or more women: Marisa Tomei, Mira Sorvino, Charlize Theron, Christina Applegate, Ashley Judd, Lucy Lawless, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Toni Collette, Milla Jovovich, etc. I saw some beautiful women, exploring who could do it. Then I met with Renee." Mandy Moore auditioned for the role of Kitty Baxter, but was turned down because she was too young. Charlie Sheen read for the part of Amos.

Gale Sondergaard was originally offered the part of the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz, but turned it down after a screen test, saying she refused to play an ugly character. Also, Buddy Ebsen was originally the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz (before that, he was the Scarecrow), but was replaced. Here's the story to that:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdpB8wkZOIw

Not Broadway, but Penny Marshall auditioned for the role of Witchie Poo in H.R. Puffnstuff.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by jonartdesigns 2010-11-09 18:38:45


Brian Stokes Mitchell was Lawrence Jameson in the workshops of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Steven Pasquale was set to play Lt. Cable in South Pacific but had to drop put due to Rescue Me

Wayne Brady was offered Simba in the Lion King, but turned it down to do Who's Line is it Anyway.

Kelsey Grammer was briefly announced to replace Doug Hodge as Albin...

Laura Bell Bundy was in final negotiations to replace Chenoweth in Wicked but a salary couldn't be agreed upon.

Rachel Dratch was Paulette in early workshops of Legally Blonde

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Annas_Priest 2011-05-13 23:01:40


I love this thread..

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by little_sally 2011-05-13 23:25:31


I seem to remember rumors of Jane Krakowski closing Cabaret as Sally but that never happened. Was it ever more than just rumors?

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by PortalGamer 2011-05-13 23:26:31


John G Jnr was offered what????

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Lavieboheme3090 2011-05-13 23:48:45


I know that Sandra Bernhard was in the final round for Mrs. Lovett. She was also the first choice for Miranda in Sex and the City, but she turned it down.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by ray-andallthatjazz86 2011-05-14 01:02:02


I've always wondered why they auditioned Cyndi Lauper for the '05 revival of SWEENEY if Sondheim had already promised the role to Patti LuPone, isn't that kinda fvcked up?

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Tag 2011-05-14 01:10:58


Cher was offered to open the Toronto production of Sunset Boulevard.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by fashionguru_23 2011-05-14 01:37:01


Jonartdesigns, I don't know if it was salary disputes with Laura Bell Bundy and Wicked. The rumour is she was fired from her standby role as Glinda, when she wasn't at the theatre to go on for Kristin.

BTW: Kristin Chenoweth played Millie in Throughly Modern Millie with Bea Arthur as Mrs. Meers

Kerry Butler did readings of both The Little Mermaid (Ariel) and Legally Blonde (Elle), and said in an interview that she was happy she got Xanadu, because she had workshopped two shows and her roles were given away.

Let's not forget Barbra Streisand was looked at for the Evita movie.

Judy Garland was sought after to replace Angela Lansbury in Mame, but the producers weren't sure if she could commit to 8 shows a week.

Finally, the infamous early 1990's movie reading of Into The Woods with Robin Williams (the Baker), Goldie Hawn (the Baker's Wife), Cher (the Witch), Steve Martin (the Wolf), Danny DeVito (the Giant), Elijah Wood (Jack), Roseanne (Jack's mother), Bebe Neuwirth (Cinderella's stepmother), Mayim Bialik (Little Red Riding Hood), Samantha Mathis (Rapunzel), Brendan Fraser (Rapunzel's prince), Moira Kelly (Cinderella), Kyle MacLachlan (Cinderella's prince) and Michael Jeter (Cinderella's father). Penny Marshall was on to direct.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by blaxx 2011-05-14 01:42:42


Laura Bell Bundy was in final negotiations to replace Chenoweth in Wicked but a salary couldn't be agreed upon.

Uh, the story of the standby that wasn't around when needed is well known.


Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by fashionguru_23 2011-05-14 01:48:53


Thanks for the backup, Blaxx.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by ray-andallthatjazz86 2011-05-14 03:13:39


Definitely, Laura Bell Bundy was playing hardball but messed up her deal when she skipped town for an audition without letting anyone know, oy.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by best12bars 2011-05-14 06:18:13


Some of these stories are inaccurate. ray, you come the closest to the facts about the Chicago movie casting:

Was Toni Collette actually offered Roxy? Or did she just audition?
Speaking of CHICAGO, the choice for Mary Sunshine came down to Christine Baranski and Kristin Chenoweth (who I beieve also auditioned for Roxy, but they were gonna cast that role with a star)...obviously Baranski got the part.
Nicole Kidman also got offered Roxy but turned it down to do MOULIN ROUGE. Both Catherine Z. Jones and Renee Zellweger auditioned for that movie, but Kidman got the part. Interestingly enough, Zellweger was pretty crushed when she put herself through the audition process (which obviously included singing and dancing) for that movie and didn't get the part, this almost kept her from meeting with Rob Marshall about CHICAGO. On the other hand, Jones was allegedly given the choice to play either Velma or Roxy.


Toni Colette tested for Roxy, and several on the creative team (including Bill Condon) really wanted her. Once Renee tested, that was that. She was a bigger name and worked better for the studio and the director. And Marshall thought she was best for the part. Zeta-Jones was, indeed, offered her choice of roles.

As far as Ragtime, LaChanze was the original Sarah in the workshop of Ragtime. She ultimately turned the part down, because it wasn't big enough. She was not ousted and "replaced" by Audra for the Broadway run. At the time of the workshop, Sarah was a smaller part. "Your Daddy's Son" hadn't been written yet, and there was no appearance at all in Act II. After LaChanze left and Audra was signed to play Sarah, they beefed up the role and added material for her. If only LaChanze would have waited. But perhaps it was the casting of Audra that inspired them to write that material. And yes, LaChanze ultimately played Sarah in the American Premiere production of Ragtime in Los Angeles and subsequently replaced Audra during the Broadway run.

Some other older "classic" replacements. Film star Jean Arthur was fired out of town from the original pre-Broadway production of "Born Yesterday." They worked hard with her, but ultimately didn't like her performance as Billie Dawn. Sadly, Jean had turned down the role of Mary Bailey in the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" to take the stage role instead. She was replaced by an unknown New York actress named Judy Holliday, and Mary Bailey was ultimately played by Donna Reed.

There were a lot of last-minute switches at the studios for various roles. Gene Kelly broke his foot during rehearsals for the movie Easter Parade, and was replaced by Fred Astaire (who had just "retired" and had to be lured back to do it). June Allyson found out she was pregnant during the rehearsals of Royal Wedding, so she was replaced by Judy Garland. Two weeks later, Garland was fired from the film (and dropped from her studio contract), and replaced by Jane Powell. Buddy Ebsen was replaced after six weeks of filming Wizard of Oz by Jack Haley. He became seriously ill from inhaling the toxic aluminum dust used to make the Tin Man's face silver. They switched it to a paste for Haley. (Interesting trivia: they never rerecorded the group singing in the film, only Ebsen's solo lines were rerecorded by Haley, so when they all sing "We're Off to See the Wizard," you can still hear Buddy Ebsen's voice as the Tin Man in the movie.)

As mentioned before, Garland was replaced in Annie Get Your Gun. She was also replaced in Valley of the Dolls by Susan Hayward.

Norma Shearer turned down the role of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind. She also turned down the title role in Mrs. Miniver. (Both are Oscar-winning classic roles in Oscar-winning classic films.)

Back to Broadway ... Michele Lee replaced Lanie Kazan in See-Saw out of town.


Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by best12bars 2011-05-14 06:36:15


Another big one, because it was made public at the time the movie was being cast: both Bette Davis and Katharine Hepburn said they wanted the role of Daisy in the film version of Driving Miss Daisy.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Will42 2011-05-14 11:04:50


Angela Lansbury and Lucille Ball were also interested in playing Miss Daisy. Studio executives also considered a Bette Midler/Eddie Murphy pairing.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by romgitsean 2011-05-14 11:34:14



I had also heard Toni Colette was highly considered as Ms. Lovett in Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd film.


Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by tjjster 2011-05-14 11:50:14


Not to keep harping on the Toni Collete/Chicago thing but....


Vanessa williams was supposed to do wild party but dropped out

Toni Collete was offered the lead in Bridget Jones Diary but turned it down to play Queenie on Broadway...the role went to Renee Zellwegger.

Toni Collete was auditioned for and was seriously considered for the role of Roxie in Chicago, but the role went to Renee who had just come off of the great success (and box office reciepts) of Bridget Jones Diary.

She also heavily petitioned for the role of Mrs. Lovett but I don't think she was ever seriously considered

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Overkill 2011-05-14 11:59:36


Toni would have been perfect in Sweeney.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Annas_Priest 2011-05-14 12:13:16


It's a crying shame Toni Collete did not get Sweeney...

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Katia2 2011-05-14 12:16:30


Not a day goes by that I'm not thankful that Patti couldn't originate Fosca because she was scheduled to do Sunset Boulevard at the time.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Annas_Priest 2011-05-14 12:29:41


I know LuPone was asked to be the Witch in the original production of Into the Woods but fought it because she wanted to be Cinderella. When she consented to be the Witch, Anything Goes and other actresses had already come into play.

It's a pity. Hearing her sing "Last Midnight" would be divine.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Kad 2011-05-14 12:47:22


I can't imagine her being Cinderella. Ever. At any age.

Both Benjamin Walker and Cheyenne Jackson played Elder Price at various points in Book of Mormon's development. Heidi Blickenstaff was also involved in workshop last year, but her role has (obviously) since been cut.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by RippedMan 2011-05-14 13:08:54


I'd love to see a Lupone "Into The Woods" now though.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by best12bars 2011-05-14 13:21:05


And Meryl Streep turned down the film version of Sweeney to do Mamma Mia! instead.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by quizking101 2011-05-14 13:42:55


"Both Benjamin Walker and Cheyenne Jackson played Elder Price at various points in Book of Mormon's development."

If Cheyenne was in BOM, not only would I have paid premium, I would have been converted by intermission...

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by bwayfan7000 2011-05-14 15:08:07


Kad, what was Blickenstaff's role in BoM?

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Chicago Star 2011-05-14 15:08:28


I'm a huge Annaleigh Ashford fan. She does a lot of readings but never gets cast in the show.

Wednesday from Addams Family.
Brenda from Catch me if you can.
Campbell from Bring it on.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by steven22 2011-05-14 15:14:29


Annaleigh also did Feeling Electric (NEXT TO NORMAL, as Natalie)

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by lull89 2011-05-14 15:38:42


Blickenstaff was originally Elder Price's mother, I think the role had a couple of songs originally, but through the workshopping process the character was cut down to just being in the one airport scene, so she decided to pursue other things.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Overkill 2011-05-14 16:34:09


Meryl auditioned for SWEENEY, but didn't get it. Tim Burton went with his girlfriend, Helena Bonham Carter instead. She took Mamma Mia as a consolation prize and a free vacation.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by sorano916 2011-05-14 17:47:39


Zachary Levi, from Chuck, was supposed to be in "Young Frankenstein" but decided to do Chuck instead.

Sean Wing was supposed to be the standby of Johnny, Will & Tunny for "American Idiot" but he decided to do pilots instead so the standby role went to Van Hughes. Sean ended up temporarily replacing Chase Peacock & Declan Bennett when they left the show briefly due to injuries.

Jillian Mueller, from "Bye Bye Birdie," was suppose to be in "American Idiot" as a swing/Extraordinary Girl understudy when Aspen Vincent left, but then the show closed so she never officially joined. I think that she still did go to rehearsals, though.

Darren Criss auditioned for "American Idiot." Don't know if he was offered anything but he, of course, didn't join.

Bryce Ryness was part of the "American Idiot" workshops.

When John Gallagher Jr. left "Spring Awakening," he was scheduled to do the MTC's production of "The Starry Messenger" but that was cancelled. He ended up not doing the 2009 production when it finally opened.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Kad 2011-05-14 18:51:30


Yeah, Blickenstaff's role was fairly small in the workshop. I believe she also had some ensemble roles. Originally, there was a bit more focus on Elder Price's homelife, but it was decided that the story needed to stay fully in Uganda and get there as quick as possible. So now all the small non-African female roles are played by the Missionary ensemble.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by spike3 2011-05-17 18:40:08


If I remember correctly Karen Ziemba was, at one time being considered for the revival of Sweet Charity. But because she wasnt a name, her name was dropped from the running.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by The Distinctive Baritone 2011-05-18 00:43:30


Overkill, I have it from a pretty reliable source that Meryl Streep was indeed offered Mrs. Lovett but turned it down. Shame.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by givesmevoice 2011-05-18 00:48:12


Not a day goes by that I'm not thankful that Patti couldn't originate Fosca because she was scheduled to do Sunset Boulevard at the time.

Donna Murphy was flawless as Fosca, but I think that Patti could've turned in an incredible (but very different) performance had she had a strong director and longer rehearsal period than what she had for the Lincoln Center concert. And I'm very sure that's not a popular opinion.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Overkill 2011-05-18 15:48:21


The Distinctive Baritone - That's really strange. I've heard the opposite! I just can't see her passing it up, although I don't see her and Johnny Depp having the best chemistry...

I remember when the movie was being planned. I was campaigning for Kelsey Grammer and Bernadette Peters. With George Hearn as Judge Turpin. I was so naive. Thinking they would cast B actors and Broadway performers in a big budget Hollywood movie. lol

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Philomena 2011-05-19 13:11:25


I remember reading in the newspaper back in the early 1980's that Ann Reinking had the lead role in the Broadway version of Cats. I'm not sure if they were talking about Grizabella.

And speaking of Cats, how can we forget that Dame Judi Dench was the original Grizabella in the London version until she broke her foot or ankle (?).

I also remember reading that in the mid-1980's a rock musical movie version of Oliver Twist was being planned with Tina Turner as Fagin and Madonna as the Artful Dodger. Obviously that never, ever happened.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Brick 2011-05-19 13:39:35


"Donna Murphy was flawless as Fosca, but I think that Patti could've turned in an incredible (but very different) performance had she had a strong director and longer rehearsal period than what she had for the Lincoln Center concert. And I'm very sure that's not a popular opinion."

I absolutely agree. I was a fan of some of LuPone's choices in that telecast, and that was with very minimal rehearsal. I actually think it would have been a role everyone thought she was "born to play" had she done so. But yes, Murphy was incredible.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Musicaldudepeter 2011-05-19 15:31:54


I just finished reading The Guys and Dolls book which was published at the time of the National Theatre production in the '90s.

For the 1992 Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls:
Bernadette Peters was offered the role of Adelaide and Sarah Brown but declined

James Naughton, Kevin Kline and Mandy Patinkin were offered the role of Sky Masterson but declined

Judith Ivey was offered Adelaide and Patty Ben-Petersen was offered Sarah Brown

Carolyn Mignini originally was cast as Sarah Brown right up until the first preview, when director Jerry Zaks fired her in favour of Josie de Guzman, because Mignini wasn't delivering the performance Zaks wanted to match Peter Gallagher's Sky Masterson.

Nathan Lane was considered too young for the role but they cast him anyway.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by best12bars 2011-05-19 15:48:26


Overkill--all my sources say Meryl turned it down as well, in favor of Mamma Mia. You might even say she "chickened out." She wasn't ultimately comfortable with the complex singing. She didn't think she would be good. She really wanted to do a musical, though, and Mamma Mia was offered to her at the same time, and she went with that instead (and from a business point of view, after just coming off the filming of "Doubt," it was the right choice). But it was her decision. And it was only after she turned Mrs. Lovett down that others were considered and screen-tested (including Bernadette Peters, Emma Thompson, and Toni Collette). Ultimately, he went with Bonham Carter, but it was after Sondheim had also said that her test was the best of the bunch. So, really, both Burton AND Sondheim picked Helena. And then (to my huge frustration), Burton made her whisper the entire time. I hated that!!!

Anyway ...

The big role/show that got away in the '80s in NYC was Angela Lansbury in "Sunset Blvd." by Stephen Sondheim. The show's announcement was up for months on the casting board at Actors' Equity. Then one day, about six months later, it came down. That was in 1985-86.




Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Princeton Returns 2011-05-19 16:32:59


Cheyenne Jackson auditioned for The Phantom in LND back when an NYC transfer was planned

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by BrodyFosse123 2011-05-19 17:22:14


after just coming off the filming of "Doubt," it was the right choice.

DOUBT began principal photography about a month after MAMMA MIA! wrapped -- not the other way around. In other words, Meryl did NOT do MAMMA MIA! after DOUBT.



Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2011-05-19 17:28:32


Dolores Hart made her Broadway debut in 1958 in the Samuel Taylor comedy, "The Pleasure Of His Company". She was also slated to to reprise her role in the film version.

One night during a performance she looked out into the audience and saw Debbie Reynolds taking notes, she knew right then and there that Reynolds would be replacing her in the film version.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by North2009 2011-05-19 17:31:36


Doris Day lost out on SOUTH PACIFIC film due to her then husband's outrageous salary requirement.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2011-05-19 17:56:35


Nancy Kwan in the proposed film version of NO STRINGS.

Diahann Carroll won a Tony Award for her performance in the Richard Rodgers musical NO STRINGS in 1962.

Shortly after her win it was announced that Warner Bros in association with Ray Stark and Seven Arts Productions cast Eurasian actress Nancy Kwan in the film version.

Carroll was furious. She felt it was one thing not to get to play the part on film, but it was inconceivable to her that they chose Nancy Kwan over another African American actress for the part.

It was a big scandal and it was very well documented.

Ultimately the film was shelved amidst all the controversy.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Buck 2011-05-19 18:32:03


I remember reading in "Variety" many moons ago that "A Doll's Life" was set to star George Hearn and Patti LuPone.

Someone also told me that Kander & Ebb really wanted Patti to star opposite Chita Rivera in "The Rink". I have no idea why she turned them down.

I guess you could file the above under "roles they turned down".

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by best12bars 2011-05-19 18:37:57


"DOUBT began principal photography about a month after MAMMA MIA! wrapped -- not the other way around. In other words, Meryl did NOT do MAMMA MIA! after DOUBT."

Beg pardon on the chronology. I had them in reverse order. They were released in the same year. I still think Meryl chose Mamma Mia over Sweeney because it was lighter and "fun." She has a good business sense, as well as being a brilliant actress, and her comedies are what make her a box office darling, not the dramas, which earn her kudos and awards. She knows to strike a good balance between the two. That way she has popularity and prestige. And from a business POV, I think she made the right choice. Mamma Mia's grosses blew Sweeney Todd away at the box office. Plus I would hate to think the sole reason she turned it down was because of the singing.

And CarlosAlberto---That's fascinating about "No Strings." On the flipside of that scenario, African-American actress Dorothy Dandridge turned down the Asian role of Tuptim in "The King and I," so the part went to Latin actress Rita Moreno. I'm glad they didn't film "No Strings" with Kwan. She's not even a singer (but she's a terrific dancer). They dubbed her in Flower Drum Song. But she was very popular in movies in the late '50s, and she could carry a film as a leading lady. I'm sure that's why they wanted her.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by best12bars 2011-05-19 18:46:54


I suppose, while we're at it on the "turned down wagon," both Barbra Streisand and Jane Fonda turned down Sally Bowles in the movie "Cabaret" before it was offered to Liza.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by wickedfan 2011-05-21 04:20:43


Per Jerry Mitchell: In Hairspray, Matthew Morrison was in the ensemble and James Carpinello was originally Link. In the first week, however, Carpinello was either fired or chose a more lucrative job, and Jerry Mitchell (having worked with him on Rocky Horror) suggested Morrison get bumped up from the ensemble and play Link.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by BrodyFosse123 2011-05-21 11:23:16


James Carpinello was the original Link in HAIRSPRAY but left the production prior to its Seattle pre-Broadway tryout when he was cast in the film THE GREAT RAID. Matthew Morrison, who was his first understudy, was promoted to the role.

The very first press photo done for the upcoming Broadway production of HAIRSPRAY was for Entertainment Weekly and James appears in the full cast photo as Link. Behind-the-scenes photos of this photo shoot were posted online in various Broadway related sites. I probably still have the photos somewhere on my computer. If I find them, I'll post them. He was one of the most delicious Links.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by The Distinctive Baritone 2011-05-21 14:18:16


"Doh!":
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/great_raid/

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by jovie27 2011-05-21 17:55:59


Robert Morse was in Wicked...just later replaced!

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by FlamingGiraffes 2011-05-21 18:45:03


Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Younger Brother 2012-12-08 15:28:31


Thought I'd bump this thread.

I read on another message board Celia Keenan Bolger was up for Nellie in the Sher South Pacific revival.

Da'Vine Joy Randolph was up for the either the role or understudy of Hetaira

Megan Hilty was up for Audrey in Little Shop Of Horrors

Carolee Carmello made it to the final rounds for Mother in Ragtime (Could she still play it?)

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Visceral_Fella 2012-12-08 17:38:44


Annaleigh Ashford was involved with Carrie for a while. I'm guessing as Chris. Thank goodness that didn't work out.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by MusicalBoy 2012-12-08 17:55:29


Didn't Audra audition unsuccessfully to play an item of cutlery in the Beauty and the Beast ensemble before getting Carousel?

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Marcellus2 2012-12-08 18:44:08


Martin Short was Mel Brooks' first choice for Leo Bloom, but Short did not want to move his family to New York for a year. He ended up playing him in LA

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Plum 2012-12-08 19:30:00


Zachary Levi wasn't the only one to abandon Young Frankenstein for television - I think Kristin Chenoweth left to do Pushing Daisies. Which a) was a wonderful show, and b) got her an Emmy, so I'd say it paid off.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by SondheimFan5 2012-12-08 20:09:30


In regards to the '05 Sweeney revival, it's always good to have options. In case Patti had to drop out during contract negotiations, or if they needed a star replacement (or decided to do an LA or London production, etc)

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by SondheimFan5 2012-12-08 20:38:03


Anyone know everyone who was considered for the Les Miz film? I know big names were considered for Eponine and other roles.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by songanddanceman2 2012-12-08 21:45:07


Amy Spanger was supposed to play Susan in the first workshop reading of Desperstely Seeking Susan but backed out last minute

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by brettarnett 2012-12-09 02:21:11


I love this thread! I can't believe Bernadette Peters screen tested for Sweeney or that Angela was originally offered Phyllis. Didn't Angela do some sort of musical that was a bomb out of town about a woman who becomes and alcoholic/prostitute or something of the likes. Prettybelle, I think. Anyone else have other stories?

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Johnnycantdecide 2012-12-09 02:25:01


I remember hearing that the producers desperately wanted Joseph Gordon-Levitt to replace in the recent How To Suceed revival....

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Johnnycantdecide 2012-12-09 02:25:47


And that John Goodman was offered Edna in Hairspray multiple times and always said no.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Younger Brother 2013-01-05 18:30:07


Bump
Tichina Arnold played Oda Mae Brown in the workshops of Ghost The Musical

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by addiemizner 2013-01-06 02:38:21


Kevin Spacey was originally going to play Mackie The Knife in THREEPENNY '06 as well as
Edie Falco as Mrs. Peachum and Wallace Shawn (who also did the horrendous translation!) as Mr. Peachum before Ana Gasteyer and Jim Dale filled those roles.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by My Oh My 2013-01-06 03:00:38


Sorry if this has already been mentioned but Gloria Estefan was set to take over as Fantine in the Broadway production of Les Miserables back in either '94 or '95. It was actually confirmed on local news (I have that segment recorded on some video tape somewhere), so I was surprised when someone else ended up in the role.

I know I have asked and have since learned as to why she didn't end up doing it, but that was years ago and have forgotten. Something tells me it was because she got pregnant? Or was it because of that awful accident she was in? But didn't that happen years prior? Am I making that up? lol.

Would've been interesting, even if I had doubts she'd have the chops for the role at the time. Everyone and their mother belted the crap out of that song to the back of the house and she isn't really a strong belter.



Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by keb2 2013-01-06 12:11:38


Gavin Creel and Matt Bomer were both Melchior in workshops of Spring Awakening.

Eric Millegan (who later went on to be on the TV show "Bones") was Moritz opposite Gavin Creel, and Nikki M. James was Martha in that workshop. Michael McElroy played the Masked Man (a role that was later cut).

Lea Michele turned down Eponine in the Les Miserables revival to play Wendla (http://www.playbill.com/celebritybuzz/article/103763-DIVA-TALK-Chatting-with-Spring-Awakenings-Lea-Michele-Plus-News-of-LuPone-Kritzer-and-Gravitte)

Frank Wood and Mary McCann played Adult Men & Women, respectively, in workshops.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by SondheimFan5 2013-01-06 13:00:39


David Hyde Pierce did Biggley the workshops of the recent How to Succeed revival. Was he offered the role on b'way?

I know there had been talks about Jude Law, Harry Connick, and Hugh Jackman doing Pal Joey before the recent Roundabout revival happened.

Leslie Uggams was offered Solange both in DC and NY for last year's Follies revival but turned it down. (And John Dossett, Maria Friedman, and Kim Cattral were also approached but for one reason or another didn't go through with it)

Judy Kaye auditioned for Fanny's mother (I believe) for the Funny Girl revival but Randy Graff got it over her. (And then the production was cancelled)

Was Bea Arthur ever offered Mrs. Meers in MILLIE? She did the workshops (along with Kristin Chenoweth)

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by TrulyOutrageousJem 2013-01-06 13:28:05


This may have been mentioned before but I remember once Charlottle D'Amboise was telling us about the auditions for the original Broadway production of CARRIE. It had come down to two girls, her and someone else (whose name I can not remember). Terri Hands wanted the other girl and Debbie Allen wanted Charlotte. The other girl was a born-again-christian and when the script called for her to say "****" she wouldn't do it. So Charlotte raised her hand and said "I'll do it!" About a year later, when the show transferred to NYC, the other girl came to see the show and Charlotte just kept thinking "She must be having the biggest laugh right now..." I bet that's one show she was happy not to get! Although, I think Charlotte has moved past being embarrassed and is actually quite proud of being in CARRIE now.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Hex3 2013-01-06 15:05:31


Can't believe nobody's mentioned Billy Porter as a male Witch in the Into the Woods revival. Both LaPine and Sondheim really wanted him, but because of the tragedy of 9/11 the producers wanted a name and so we got Vanessa Williams.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by EgermanArmfelt 2013-01-06 16:20:47


They were really considering a male Witch? Very interesting!

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Jordan Catalano 2013-01-06 16:25:41


Yeah I remember that. As much as I adore Sondheim, I really wish he'd stop fvcking with his shows.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Overkill 2013-01-06 21:40:24


Billy Porter did an AMAZING rendition of "Last Midnight" on his album, The Corner of Broadway and Soul. He also tells the story about his audition. UGH. If only that had actually happened...

Oh, and John Goodman was actually set to play Edna in HAIRSPRAY when the show was going to Vegas, but pulled out last second, and Harvey Fierstein jumped in.

Richard Dreyfuss was rehearsing THE PRODUCERS in London, and was injured two weeks before the show opened, and Nathan Lane was begged to replace him, and did so... for preeetty penny. lol

Got some stories, but they're all FILM. :)

Orson Welles, Anthony Quinn, and Marlon Brando were all offered Tevye in the FIDDLER ON THE ROOF film. Frank Sinatra and Danny Kaye actively pursued it, but Norm Jewison (Director) turned them down. Strangely enough, Danny Kaye had been offered to play Tevye in multiple productions, but always turned it down. Shame, he would have be perfection.

Danny was also in consideration for the film adaptation of KISS ME KATE, along with Judy Garland and Laurence Olivier.

Mary Martin and Danny Kaye were seriously considered by Walt Disney for MARY POPPINS.

Maureen O'Hara claims that she came to Disney with the idea of a film based on Poppins years before the Julie Andrews/Dick Van Dyke film. She was also originally set to be Anna in THE KING AND I.

Shirley MacLaine time!

ALL THAT JAZZ:
Bob Fosse offered the role of Audrey Paris to MacLaine, who claims she gave Fosse the inspiration to make a movie about his experiences as a heart attack survivor. Some say MacLaine turned Fosse down because he couldn't meet her salary demands.

THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS:
Shirley MacLaine campaigned to play the lead role. The studio rejected the idea.

THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN:
According to a friend of director Chuck Walters: "His first choice for the lead role was Shirley MacLaine, but Debbie campaigned to unseat her. She and Chuck were buddies, so she played that card big time! Debbie even called Shirley directly to talk her out of accepting the role. Shirley had tons of other offers, so she graciously stepped aside. That made it possible for Debbie to play the role and garner her only nomination as Best Actress."

She also heavily campaigned herself for Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady.

Barbara Mandrell auditioned for Mona for the WHOREHOUSE film, and Crystal Gayle screen tested for it. Along with Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson being considered for Ed.

Cher was offered Christine Baranski's role in MAMMA MIA!, and was considered for Mama Morton in CHICAGO. She was also supposed to star in A STAR IS BORN, before a new director took over and cast Barbra.

Sandy Duncan screen tested for Minnie in HELLO,DOLLY!, and for a short time the studio considered firing Striesand and hiring Doris Day to replace her when Walter Matthau couldn't get along with the star.

Brendan Fraser heavily campaigned for himself to play The Phantom in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, but the studio turned him down. Keira Knightley auditioned for Christine, and admitted that the audition was embarrassing saying "I knew I couldn't sing it." Katie Holmes turned it down, as did Catherine Zeta-Jones, because she had just come off Chicago and didn't want to do two movie musicals back to back. According to IMDB, Meat Loaf was offered the role of the Phantom.


WHOO! That's all I got for now. :)




Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by PTOPhan 2013-01-06 23:27:23


One of the most famous examples of a Broadway originator of a role being turned down for the movie is "My Fair Lady," where the producers cast a non-singing Audrey Hepburn instead of Julie Andrews. Both Rex Harrison and Stanley Holloway reprised their Broadway roles in the 1964 movie. Perhaps they felt that Julie Andrews, who always came across as wholesome, would not look regal enough on the big screen.

The "Phantom of the Opera" concept production and album featured Sarah Brightman and Steve Harley, but the latter was a rock singer, and ALW cast Michael Crawford instead because he wanted a more melodious voice. Then, when the show moved to New York, Actors Equity campaigned to use Americans for all three leads, which would have resulted in the late Steve Barton's being the only West End cast member to reprise his/her role on Broadway. ALW fought successfully to use Sarah Brightman (his then-wife) and, I guess, Michael Crawford. A few years later, ALW planned to do a "Phantom" movie using the original leads. However, for personal reasons, he did not. (I suspect that he and Sarah Brightman by then were divorcing or divorced). By the time he finally got around to the movie, Crawford and Brightman were too old, and poor Steve Barton was in his grave.

Tom Selleck was originally sought after to play Indiana Jones, but his "Magnum, PI" shooting schedule got in the way and he had to turn the role down. Genevieve Bujold was already shooting the "Star Trek Voyager" series as Captain Katherine Janeway, when she walked off the set. Kate Mulgrew, whom I think was a better choice, replaced her.

If the ill-fated "Rebecca" ever makes it to Broadway, we'll have seen goodness knows how many sets of cast changes. Originally, Sierra Boggess and her fiance, Tam Mutu, were going to play the lead roles. The fall 2012 production would have cast Jill Paice and Ryan Silverman, with Howard McGillin also in a key role. By the time this show actually makes it to Broadway, who knows how many other actors will be in and out of the proposed cast?

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by keb2 2013-01-07 00:14:18


Gavin Creel and Matt Bomer were both Melchior in workshops of Spring Awakening.

Eric Millegan (who later went on to be on the TV show "Bones") was Moritz opposite Gavin Creel, and Nikki M. James was Martha in that workshop. Michael McElroy played the Masked Man (a role that was later cut).

Lea Michele turned down Eponine in the Les Miserables revival to play Wendla (http://www.playbill.com/celebritybuzz/article/103763-DIVA-TALK-Chatting-with-Spring-Awakenings-Lea-Michele-Plus-News-of-LuPone-Kritzer-and-Gravitte)

Frank Wood and Mary McCann played Adult Men & Women, respectively, in workshops.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by gstrus2 2013-01-13 16:03:00


Patti Lupone Stories:

She was offered Witch in Into the Woods, but she insisted on Cinderella, so she auditioned for Cinderella also, and they wanted her for Witch, and it fell through after a while due to contacts.

She auditioned for Bernadette's replacement in Sunday in the Park with George but did not get the role because Sondheim did not want belting.

She was offered Fosca in Passion, but turned it down to do Norma
Desmond in Sunset Boulevard in London.

She turned down David Mamet's The Woods' Ruth to do Evita.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Visceral_Fella 2013-01-13 16:26:58


"Tichina Arnold played Oda Mae Brown in the workshops of Ghost The Musical"

I would have LOVED to have seen that. Not crazy about the show, but her in that part would have been hysterical.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by ElphabaGoodman 2013-01-13 17:25:53


Kate Shindle came very close to opening the 1st National Tour of Wicked as Elphaba.

Rachel Potter came very close to being the Natalie understudy in Next to Normal, as well as an Elphaba understudy (before going in for Glinda).

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by ElphabaGoodman 2013-01-13 17:26:41


Catherine Porter came very close to being the Margaret standby in MCC's Carrie.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by AC126748 2013-01-13 18:04:49


Carolee Carmello auditioned several times to play Mother in the original production of RAGTIME and has said that she really wanted the part.

Hayden Panetierre did all the early readings of PICNIC (the current production) but didn't sign onto the production because of NASHVILLE. Melissa Leo and Finn Wittrock also did those readings.

Missi Pyle was set to play Helena in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM in Central Park a few years back, but (I believe) her MadTV schedule didn't permit it. Martha Plimpton replaced her.

Also in Central Park: Lily Rabe and Richard Easton were set for Ophelia and Polonius in HAMLET but both withdrew and were replaced by Lauren Ambrose and Sam Waterston.

Kathleen Turner was offered the first replacement for Glenn Close in the LA production of SUNSET, when Glenn was leaving to bring it to New York. She turned it down because she knew she couldn't do the part justice vocally. Faye Dunaway was then contracted and we all know how that turned out.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by boggess 2013-01-13 18:14:06


Someone asked about the Les Mis film, I remember reading a list of known names who auditioned for Cosette. Miranda Cosgrove was among them, and I personally am thankful that Amanda Seyfried had the role over her. I don't remember others on the list, but it can probably be Googled.

Lea Michele auditioned for the revival of West Side Story and didn't get Maria.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by GavestonPS 2013-01-13 20:32:29


Perhaps they felt that Julie Andrews, who always came across as wholesome, would not look regal enough on the big screen.

Andrews had done CAMELOT by then, so I don't think regality was the issue.

She has said numerous times that Jack Warner (head of the studio that bore his name and made the film) nixed her in favor of Hepburn, a huge star. Julie Andrews even thanked Warner in her acceptance speech for the Golden Globe she won that same year for MARY POPPINS. She got a huge laugh, as everyone knew the story.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2013-01-13 20:53:00


Correct me if I am wrong but didn't Julie thank Jack Warner for her Oscar win.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Younger Brother 2013-02-19 11:02:32


I was reading an article during the week that said Stephanie Umoh was in the final stages of auditions for Rizzo for the most recent Grease revival.

Bobby Steggert auditioned for Finch in the recent How To Succeed revival

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by kellymarie465 2013-02-19 12:43:26


Mackenzie Mauzy (from Next to Normal and Public's Giant) was cast as Ilse in the first national tour of Spring Awakening, but chose to do A Tale of Two Citites on Broadway instead. Steffi D who was originally an ensemble member and understudy got bumped up to the role of Ilse.

Meghann Fahy was apparently offered to understudy Jenn Damiano (again) in Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark but turned it down.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Younger Brother 2013-02-19 12:48:27


Hannah Waddingham (Spamalot in London and on Broadway) turned down Fiona in Shrek The Musical in London

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Johnnycantdecide 2013-02-19 14:49:26


It was speculated that John Lennon was going to play Jesus on the original Jesus Christ Superstar Concept Album and many papers reported it. But the rumor is that it was either a false report or he wanted Yoko as Mary and negotiations fell through.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Johnnycantdecide 2013-02-24 16:29:40


Glenn Close, Christine Baranski, and Allison Janney all turned down Miss. Hannigan in the Broadway revival of Annie.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by OneDayMore1979 2013-02-24 18:15:53


Ruthie Henshall: Regularly tells how she was very dissapointed that she made it too the final 2 for Mary Poppins but lost out as they wanted to go for a younger actress and decided to go with Laura Michelle Kelly

Daniel Koek: Was up for Fyero in Wicked London but didnt pass the Dance audition, he also got a call back for one of the leads in Jersey Boys.

Daniel Boys: Was called back for Fyero in Wicked London but his feedback was "he wasnt sexy enough"

Julie Atherton: Missed out to the role Fiona in Shrek due to the casting of Amanda Holden.

Anna-Jane Casey: Was recalled twice for Wicked but was told she looked too old on stage. She was due to be in the recent production of Victor Victoria but had to back out due to conflicts in schedule.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Younger Brother 2013-04-17 10:45:29


BUMP!
Renee Goldsberry starred as as Hedy La Rue in a reading for the How To Succeed revival

Does anyone know who else played Lauren and Nicola in the Kinky Boots readings?

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by philly03 2013-04-17 12:47:52


Laura Osnes auditioned for the role of Alice in Wildhorn's "WONDERLAND," but he thought she was too young (I believe she was like 23 or 24 at the time)... and thus how she scored Bonnie in "Bonnie & Clyde."

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by SondheimFan5 2013-04-17 13:27:19


Rex Harrison was offered Don Quijote in the original Man of La Mancha (and I believe he wanted to do it) but the authors wanted a stronger singer, so they gave it to RIchard Kiley.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by ullabelt 2013-04-17 13:46:46


Richard Dreyfuss couldn't remember any of his lines so he had to leave The Producers...it wasnt due to illness. He went on stage in London several years later with an air piece

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by disneybroadwayfan22 2013-04-17 17:42:29


Laura Osnes was in the Top 3 choices for Karen from SMASH

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by angel_of_music2 2013-04-17 18:42:25


Wasn't there once plans for a TV movie of Mame to star Barbra then Cher?

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by boggess 2013-04-17 19:52:27


It's a blessing that Laura didn't get Smash.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by darquegk 2013-04-17 20:02:36


Don't you think things might have played out differently with Smash with Osnes?

I doubt it would have been a massive popular success, but NBC has been known to keep its critical darlings around as long as it can, such as Community or Parenthood. McPhee was one of the major whipping posts for the critics- with a likable and talented actress-singer in the Karen role, rather than a polarizing pop C-lister, things might have been different.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by goldenboy 2013-04-17 20:14:47


Why all the McPhee bashing? She a natural on camera, down to earth, likable, sings well and is very good in the role. so she didn't come from Broadway-- who cares! I cared about her character immediately as she played the girl next door who wanted to make good. I don't get all the McPhee hating.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by boggess 2013-04-17 20:28:19


That's a very good point. I didn't even think of how it might've gone differently with Laura, just of how it's going currently. I'm still happy she got to do Cinderella and would rather see her in there than in Smash.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by ullabelt 2013-04-18 04:31:37


Faith Prince was actually cast as Audrey (according to her) but couldn't do the show, scheduling I imagine although she doesn't specify, so they cast Ellen Greene.

Ellen Greene auditioned for Sally in the recent revival of 'Follies' and Adelaide in the tour of 'Guys and Dolls'

Chris Kattan played Xanthias in previews of 'The Frogs' but was replaced by Rodger Bart a week before the show opened.

Ruthie Henshall was very keen on playing Mary Poppins until they decided that they should 'go younger'

Buddy Hackett played Scuttle on the demo of 'The Little Mermaid' and I think it was planned that he would play the role onstage until he sadly passed away. I love him as a performer.

Emily Skinner also features on the demo recording as Ursula when they had still intended to use the 'Vanessa plot' - Skinner recorded a reprise of 'Poor Unfortunate Souls' with amended lyrics to Ursula's incantation rather than

Beluga, Sevruga
Come winds of the Caspian Sea
Larynxes, glossitis
Et Max Laryngitis
La voce to me

In the the reprise she sang -

Mascara, tiara
Ye, winds of the tropics appear
Catharsis, lavorious
Et qua manicurus
mutato me here!

Which transforms her into Vanessa.

When 'The Little Mermaid' was workshopped in Britain (before America) Melanie La Barrie played Ursula.

When 'Urinetown' was workshopped in Britain - Adam Garcia played Bobby Strong.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by darquegk 2013-04-18 13:45:59


I don't care that McPhee isn't on Broadway. Truth is, I don't mind her. But she isn't an actress good enough to make the contradictory plot points and choices given to her feel cohesive, the way Megan Hilty has made the mentally ill, drug-addled and self-destructive Ivy gel with the later, working-through-her-issues Ivy.

McPhee was pretty good when she was a guest on Community, but making a character on a well-written show work for an episode or two is easier than making a somewhat slipshod character on an inconsistent show pop.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Wildcard 2013-04-18 14:18:11


I think McPhee is very beautiful and is a good singer (not great). However, she seems so full of herself and it just shows in the way she carries herself. It's not confidence, more self-importance. Even during her Idol days, it was evident. That said, she should have won her season over Hicks.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by TappingMan 2013-04-27 12:01:08


I remember hearing that Carol Burnett was to go into the Tyne Daly, Gypsy after Linda Lavin but the show closed before she was available.
Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by brettarnett 2013-06-01 16:49:39


Was watching some chatterboxes today, here are some I haven't heard
-Stark Stands did a few readings of Hands on a Hardbody before Kinky Boots. He also went in for Catch Me If You Can

-(I've heard this one before) Megan Hilty was told she got Audrey in Little Shop National Tour but the producers came back and told her no instead because she was too young especially next to Anthony Rapp.

-Christiane Noll was in the final call backs for Glinda with Hilty.

-Alice Ripley played Judy in a reading of 9to5

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by mc1227 2013-06-01 17:41:58



Love reading some of these stories...I had heard some before but not most of them. I would have loved to see John Goodman as Edna in Hairspray.

What part in Starry Messenger was John Gallaher Jr. supposed to play? The co-worker that Grant Shaud played?

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Littleshopofcarrie 2013-06-01 18:56:19


Laura Osnes also auditioned for Alice in Wonderland and thats how she met Frank Wilhorne

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Mattbrain 2013-06-01 19:10:22


"As much as I adore Sondheim, I really wish he'd stop fvcking with his shows."

Yeah, let's just do carbon copies of the shows as if they were museum pieces forevermore.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by AEA AGMA SM 2013-06-01 20:07:29


"I remember hearing that Carol Burnett was to go into the Tyne Daly, Gypsy after Linda Lavin but the show closed before she was available. "

I don't know if this was true or not, but I would have loved to have seen Carol play the role at some point in her career. Based on her recording of "Everything's Coming Up Roses" on one of her Decca albums (with a swing-pop arrangement) the score would probably have sat very comfortably in her big belty voice.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Starship 2013-06-01 20:25:14


I haven't read all of this thread but the two cases that make me most shocked/upset: Kate Shindle as Elphaba and Hannah Waddingham as Fiona.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by henrikegerman 2013-06-02 08:06:30


"{Patti} was offered Witch in Into the Woods, but she insisted on Cinderella, so she auditioned for Cinderella also, and they wanted her for Witch, and it fell through after a while due to contacts."

Bizarre. Why would Patti think Cinderella was a better part for her than the Witch?

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by jackieoh 2013-06-02 16:55:24


Sherie Rene Scott and Norbert Leo Butz workshopped Diana and Dan in Next to Normal when it was still Feeling Electric. As did Amy Spanger and Anthony Rapp (as the Doctors).

Also, it's common knowledge at this point but Alice Ripley did Little Shop with Hunter Foster and was slated to be Audrey in the revival before they replaced her with Kerry Butler.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Playbilly 2013-06-02 17:31:09


Diana Ross was supposed to do the Michelle Pfeifer role in The Witches of Eastwick. Dropped out when (rival) Cher was cast in the film.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Younger Brother 2013-06-30 10:09:02


Bump! Any more interesting stories?

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Brave Sir Robin2 2013-06-30 15:25:13


"Also, it's common knowledge at this point but Alice Ripley did Little Shop with Hunter Foster and was slated to be Audrey in the revival before they replaced her with Kerry Butler."

Didn't she play the role in the out-of-town run?

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by random person 112 2013-06-30 23:07:23


Truman Capote based Holly Golightly heavily on Marilyn Monroe and Marilyn did want to play the part but sadly never got the chance due to the fact Monroe was signed to Twentieth Century Fox and was keeping the studio afloat financially they would not lend her out to paramount at the time.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Rentaholic 2013-07-01 00:55:24


""Also, it's common knowledge at this point but Alice Ripley did Little Shop with Hunter Foster and was slated to be Audrey in the revival before they replaced her with Kerry Butler."

Didn't she play the role in the out-of-town run? "

Yeah, she played it in Florida and it was supposed to come to Broadway but it kind of petered out before everyone was fired except for Hunter Foster.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by ChairinMain 2013-07-01 03:46:11


Henrik: "Why would Patti think Cinderella was a better part for her than the Witch?"

Presumedly because at the point Patti was auditioning, Cinderella was the much larger role. This, I'm guessing would have either been before the out of town tryout or just after it, when the Witch was not being thought of as a star part. There was no "Children Will Listen", no "Lament", no "Stay With Me", no "Last Midnight." Just the Rap and Boom Crunch. She didn't really intereact with Rapunzel much or have much to do in act two. It was more of a cameo than a starring role. Then they buildt it up when Bernadette became interested, and they buildt the role in an extremly smart fashion, taking all the seeds of character development that were already there and turning them into major character moments.

Cinderella, on the other hand, was clearly one of two female leads, and was actually a little more prominent than she was by the time the show reached Broadway (she had a little more to do in act two, is the main difference.) At the time, this absolutely would have been the more attractive role.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Wilmingtom 2013-07-01 12:39:56


At almost 38, wouldn't LuPone have been a little long in the tooth for Cinderella?

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Younger Brother 2013-10-05 09:39:44


Bump! Any more stories?

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by N2N Nate. 2013-10-05 11:10:02


Bonnie Schon was a finalist to play the original Eva in London but lost out to Elaine Paige. Rumor has it that Hal Prince promised her the Role on Broadway and after going through an exhausting audition, she found out that Patti Lupone would be given the part.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by MaddieBB12 2013-10-05 11:46:53


Stark Sands was Clyde in Bonnie & Clyde during two of the three pre-Broadway tryouts before Jeremy Jordan took over. Stark took over for some other guy between the tryout and Broadway production of American Idiot.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by steven22 2013-10-05 12:10:34


MaddieBB12, Matt Caplan played Sands' part Pre-Bway American Idiot

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by MaddieBB12 2013-10-05 12:22:36


^I didn't know that! Thanks for the info.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by darquegk 2013-10-05 13:12:44


In the wake of Team Starkid and "A Very Potter Musical" hitting pop culture, Darren Criss was offered two major options- originate the role of Will in "American Idiot," or do a two-episode guest role on Glee. Criss chose the TV guest appearance, and his character was so well-liked on the show that he was quickly retconned into a recurring guest, then a supporting cast member, and over time became ostensibly the show's second male lead.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by jemjeb2 2013-10-05 13:45:08


A few other "declined the part: Cary Grant "A Star Is Born " (1954). Elvis Presley "A Star Is Born" (1976) Montgomery Clift "Sunset Boulevard". William Holden "Strangers on a Train" Cary Grant "The Music Man"
Replacements: Joan Crawford "From Here to Eternity (Deborah Kerr). Lana Turner "Anatomy of a Murder" (Lee Remick). James Dean "Somebody Up There Likes Me" (Paul Newman due to Dean's death)

in the final two for the part of Lois Lane in Christopher Reeve "Superman" Stockard Channing

Choice between Grace Kelly or Elizabeth Taylor in "Giant" was finally given by director George Stevens to Rock Hudson to make. Alan Ladd was original star considered for James Dean part till latter was very hot after "East of Eden"

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by jemjeb2 2013-10-05 13:55:13


One not mentioned - maybe too well known Bette Davis was a last minute replacement for cast and costumed Claudette Colbert as Eve Harrington in "All About Eve" due to an a temporary injury.
Sadly in the Broadway musical version "Applause" Rita Hayworth was in rehearsals to take over the lead when Lauren Bacall left the show, but had to drop out (it turned out that early stages of Altzheimers was the reason)

Louis Jourdan left "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" during the Boston tryout allegedly because Barbara Harris was getting raves while his performance was viewed as perfunctory.John Cullum took the part.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by jemjeb2 2013-10-05 14:00:04


Oops - correction - should have proofread - of course I meant Bette Davis as Margo Channing!

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by jemjeb2 2013-10-05 14:20:15


Sorry still one more (i'm hogging it here). Humphrey Bogart badly wanted to costar in the Judy Garland "A Star Is Born" but Warner Bros. and Producer Sid Luft, Garland's then husband couldn't see it, althought the Lufts were good friends of his. He was still so enthused about the movie that he does have a "part" It's Bogart's voice heard drunkenly requesting, "Sing 'Melancholy Baby' " during the epic "Born in a Trunk" number. James Mason was cast when they couldn't get Cary Grant to play it. Grant allegedly turned it down for two reasons: he thought the part might be damaging to his image and he was reticent to get Involved in a project opposite notoriously erratic Ms. Garland, who had already been unable to finish more than one movie - "Annie Get Your Gun" "Barkekeys of Boadway" "Royal Wedding". She also apparently struggled all through the shooting of "Summer Stock".

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by jonartdesigns 2013-10-05 15:37:19


Billy Porter was Audrey 2 in Florida (same production as Ripley)
Alan Cumming was attached to play the Green Goblin in Spider-man

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by qolbinau 2013-10-05 19:45:45


We should distinguish between not being successful and leaving. Alan Cumming DID get that role but left because of the fiasco starting performances. In interviews he seems to be happy with his decision.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by brettarnett 2014-06-18 19:48:45


I just read on the other board that Sutton Foster turned down Gypsy in the Lupone revival to appear in Young Frankenstein. I would have been very curious to see her as Louise.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by showtuna 2014-06-18 22:54:57


Not sure if this has been said yet, but Patti Lupone said in an interview that she was offered the Witch in Into the Woods and refused it because she wanted to be Cinderella and they wouldn't give it to her. I'll post the link if I can find it, it was actually quite a hysterical re-telling.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by pinoyidol2006 2014-06-18 23:54:13


Betsy Wolfe was supposed to be in the upcoming Side Show revival, but she chose to do Bullets instead.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by valeposh 2014-06-19 00:06:58


Don't know if this has been listed yet, but Matt Morrison was supposed to be Rocky in the 2000 revival, turned it down to join the LMNT boyband, which he left after only a few months. He then rejoined Rocky Horror as a phantom in 2001.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by VanillaIceCream2 2014-06-19 11:02:06


I'm unsure if this has been said, but both Celia Keenan-Bolger and Vicki Clark were considered for the role of Nellie Forbush along with Kelli O'Hara.

Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted by Brick 2014-06-19 11:20:34


And add to that short list, Scarlett Johansson and Reese Witherspoon. Both actresses auditioned and made the short list, but Sher said he didn't want stars in the parts, so the show was the star.