Roles they DIDN'T get....

evadiva
Broadway Star
joined:12/9/06
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 11/6/10 at 02:53pm
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....
"This is BWW. We know the favorite ice cream flavor of the Ali Hakim standby in the seventh non-equity tour of Oklahoma." - Calvin "it is a shame however when someone has seen Wicked like ten times and have no idea who Stephen Sondhiem is" - Aqualline2
darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 11/6/10 at 03:07pm
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."
ClapYo'Hands
Broadway Legend
joined:11/29/09
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 11/6/10 at 03:12pm
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.
2014 Theatre: Strangers on a Train 3.5 * From Here To Eternity 3.5* Stephen Ward ***** The Full Monty ***** Fiddler on the Roof (UK Tour) *** Stephen Ward ***** Jersey Boys ***** Blithe Spirit ***** Wicked (UK Tour) *** Arcadia ** Dirty Rotten Scoundrels *** Urinetown ***** Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 3.5* Other Desert Cities **** Birdland **** The Phantom of the Opera **** Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake ***** In The Heights ***** Miss Saigon **** Clarence Darrow ***** Great Britain **** The Crucible **** The Pajama Game ****
qolbinau
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/08
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 11/6/10 at 04:21pm
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".

ColorTheHours048
Broadway Legend
joined:4/4/08
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 11/6/10 at 06:04pm
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.
Jon
Broadway Legend
joined:2/20/04
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 11/6/10 at 07:06pm
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.
steven22
Broadway Legend
joined:5/19/06
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 11/6/10 at 07:12pm
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.
morosco
Broadway Legend
joined:7/10/04
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 11/6/10 at 11:00pm
Nathan Lane was up for the role of Seymour in the original production of the musical LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS.
chewy5000
Broadway Legend
joined:12/1/09
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 11/6/10 at 11:10pm
Robert Morse was also considered for Wicked I believe

IMHO I see Queenie as being more of a brunette...
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 11/6/10 at 11:18pm
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".
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
winston89
Broadway Legend
joined:6/18/06
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 11/6/10 at 11:19pm
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.

"If you try to shag my husband while I am still alive, I will shove the art of motorcycle maintenance up your rancid little Cu**. That's a good dear" Tom Stoppard's Rock N Roll
singtopher
Broadway Legend
joined:12/28/05
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 11/6/10 at 11:22pm
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.
"If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn't help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don't want to do it." -Stephen Colbert
Updated On: 11/7/10 at 11:22 PM
TheatreFreak05
Broadway Legend
joined:1/22/08
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 11/6/10 at 11:23pm
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.
winston89
Broadway Legend
joined:6/18/06
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 11/6/10 at 11:27pm
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.
"If you try to shag my husband while I am still alive, I will shove the art of motorcycle maintenance up your rancid little Cu**. That's a good dear" Tom Stoppard's Rock N Roll
singtopher
Broadway Legend
joined:12/28/05
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 11/6/10 at 11:28pm
Thats what I had thought, but I wasn't sure.
"If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn't help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don't want to do it." -Stephen Colbert
provocation
Featured Actor
joined:1/19/09
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 11/6/10 at 11:30pm
Sara Ramirez has spoken about being considered for the role of Elphaba in "Wicked" and eventually losing the role to Idina Menzel.
I know, right?
jdtp12
Featured Actor
joined:7/16/10
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 11/6/10 at 11:34pm
"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?
Jon
Broadway Legend
joined:2/20/04
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 11/6/10 at 11:41pm
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.
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 11/6/10 at 11:43pm
"Faith Prince was also up for Audrey in the original Little Shop"

I think she eventually was an Audrey replacement.
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
Mistress_Spouzic
Broadway Star
joined:11/12/06
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 11/6/10 at 11:53pm
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.
chewy5000
Broadway Legend
joined:12/1/09
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 11/6/10 at 11:58pm
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.
IMHO I see Queenie as being more of a brunette...
madbrian
Broadway Legend
joined:6/1/06
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 11/7/10 at 12:17am
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.
"It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg." -- Thomas Jefferson
Overkill
Broadway Star
joined:5/4/08
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 11/7/10 at 01:24am
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.
ljay889
Broadway Legend
joined:8/4/04
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 11/7/10 at 01:29am
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.
#sadandtransparent
Brick
Broadway Legend
joined:11/21/06
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 11/7/10 at 02:14am
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.

Overkill
Broadway Star
joined:5/4/08
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 11/7/10 at 02:26am
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.