Roles they DIDN'T get....

brettarnett
Stand-by
joined:5/2/09
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 12/9/12 at 02:21am
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?
Johnnycantdecide
Featured Actor
joined:6/1/11
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 12/9/12 at 02:25am
I remember hearing that the producers desperately wanted Joseph Gordon-Levitt to replace in the recent How To Suceed revival....
Johnnycantdecide
Featured Actor
joined:6/1/11
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 12/9/12 at 02:25am
And that John Goodman was offered Edna in Hairspray multiple times and always said no.
SondheimFan5
Broadway Legend
joined:6/20/10
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 1/6/13 at 01:00pm
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)
Bea Arthur "I Want to Be An Actor Lady" from ...MILLIE
TrulyOutrageousJem
Chorus Member
joined:7/10/12
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 1/6/13 at 01:28pm
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.
Hex3
Stand-by
joined:11/7/08
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 1/6/13 at 03:05pm
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.
EgermanArmfelt
Stand-by
joined:7/25/12
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 1/6/13 at 04:20pm
They were really considering a male Witch? Very interesting!
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 1/6/13 at 04:25pm
Yeah I remember that. As much as I adore Sondheim, I really wish he'd stop fvcking with his shows.
"I think Glee is way too sharp, smart, witty, clever and emotionally confronting for the masses." - Dave19 - "What's next? Snow Black and the 7 Swaggers? Shasquirta and the Beast? 101 Weavematians? Willis in Ghettoland?" - Dave19, in reference to the new ANNIE remake.
Overkill
Broadway Star
joined:5/4/08
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 1/6/13 at 09:40pm
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. :)




Updated On: 1/6/13 at 09:40 PM
PTOPhan
Featured Actor
joined:6/5/12
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 1/6/13 at 11:27pm
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?
You alone can make my song take flight.
keb2
Stand-by
joined:1/4/12
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 1/7/13 at 12:14am
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.
gstrus2
Broadway Star
joined:5/27/12
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 1/13/13 at 04:03pm
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.

Updated On: 1/13/13 at 04:03 PM
Visceral_Fella
Broadway Star
joined:1/18/12
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 1/13/13 at 04:26pm
"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.
ElphabaGoodman
Stand-by
joined:4/2/10
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 1/13/13 at 05:25pm
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).
ElphabaGoodman
Stand-by
joined:4/2/10
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 1/13/13 at 05:26pm
Catherine Porter came very close to being the Margaret standby in MCC's Carrie.
AC126748
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/06
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 1/13/13 at 06:04pm
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.
"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
boggess
Stand-by
joined:7/5/12
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 1/13/13 at 06:14pm
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.
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 1/13/13 at 08:32pm
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.
CarlosAlberto
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/10
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 1/13/13 at 08:53pm
Correct me if I am wrong but didn't Julie thank Jack Warner for her Oscar win.
Younger Brother
Broadway Star
joined:8/27/12
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 2/19/13 at 11:02am
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
kellymarie465
Stand-by
joined:8/17/08
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 2/19/13 at 12:43pm
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.
Younger Brother
Broadway Star
joined:8/27/12
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 2/19/13 at 12:48pm
Hannah Waddingham (Spamalot in London and on Broadway) turned down Fiona in Shrek The Musical in London
Johnnycantdecide
Featured Actor
joined:6/1/11
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 2/19/13 at 02:49pm
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.
Johnnycantdecide
Featured Actor
joined:6/1/11
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 2/24/13 at 04:29pm
Glenn Close, Christine Baranski, and Allison Janney all turned down Miss. Hannigan in the Broadway revival of Annie.
OneDayMore1979
Chorus Member
joined:2/24/13
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 2/24/13 at 06:15pm
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.

Younger Brother
Broadway Star
joined:8/27/12
Roles they DIDN'T get....
Posted: 4/17/13 at 10:45am
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?