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Odd Cunningham Casting in Chicago's

Owen22
Broadway Legend
joined:2/24/11
They have seemingly cast a "Price" as a "Cunningham"

Nic Rouleau will be traveling from Broadway to Chi to do Price. But they've cast Ben Platt at Cunningham. Now, in "Pitch Perfect" Platt played the geeky Freshman Benji who wants into the cliquish men's group but is denied until the boorish lead member leaves (Adam Devine who plays said boorish lead would have made a perfect Cunningham). Now, as said, Platt is geeky, but HOLLYWOOD geeky. He could easily clean up to be a leading man. He doesn't scream character actor at all. I'm guessing they decided to dispense with the "chunky" Cunningham type, but casting Platt along side Rouleau seems odd to me..
Fosse76
Broadway Legend
joined:3/21/05
Odd Cunningham Casting in Chicago's
Posted: 11/9/12 at 10:31am
So only fat, ugly guys can be obnoxious?
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everythingtaboo
Broadway Legend
joined:5/5/04
Odd Cunningham Casting in Chicago's
Posted: 11/9/12 at 10:43am
It would be nice to have at least one fat (ugly?) lead in the cast. Us fatties need work too, especially those that can handle the physical comedy.


"Hey little girls, look at all the men in shiny shirts and no wives!" - Jackie Hoffman, Xanadu, 19 Feb 2008
Owen22
Broadway Legend
joined:2/24/11
Odd Cunningham Casting in Chicago's
Posted: 11/9/12 at 10:55am
What I mean is, there is a wonderful comedic precedent of that kind of casting. Its a shortcut to delineating character for an audience. There is also the surprise factor when the short chubby guy becomes the show's actual hero. The creators are so brilliant I'm trusting them that they know what they're doing. But its SUCH a shift from the original.

Incidentally. Has there ever been a shorter, chubbier Elphaba next to a statuesque Glinda?
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rhdery
Understudy
joined:7/22/12
Odd Cunningham Casting in Chicago's
Posted: 11/9/12 at 11:34am
The guy doing Cunningham on Broadway of late didn't look all that chubby to me-certainly not in the same league as Josh Gad. However, they had his shirt partially untucked and blouses out, and with the curly headed mop he passed for schlubby very well and did a great job in the part. I suspect the same costuming will be used as necessary to create the impression of a flabby character.

Hope that doesn't sound like a knock on Gad, by the way. He is a very charismatic performer and did an amazing job originating the role.
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Wynbish
Broadway Legend
joined:4/27/12
Odd Cunningham Casting in Chicago's
Posted: 11/9/12 at 11:40am
Is his size part of the character description in the show? Is the image of Josh Gad and Jared Gertner what comes to the fans' minds about the character, but not exactly what came to Matt and Trey's mind? Yes, they chose Josh, so they could picture him as a Cunningham. His size may have not had much to do with it. Cunningham is introduced to the audience as being different and not as polished as the cleaner-cut Elders.

But this does bring up an interesting thought about casting. The first London Madame Thenardier, Susan Jane Tanner, is not physically similar to what is now almost the norm: a bigger woman like Jenny Galloway.
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darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
Odd Cunningham Casting in Chicago's
Posted: 11/9/12 at 02:58pm
Aren't there a few lines about "the fat guy" or "fat white boy?"
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FireFingers
Stand-by
joined:11/16/10
Odd Cunningham Casting in Chicago's
Posted: 11/9/12 at 03:09pm
I believe "fat white guy" is changed to "strange white guy" when someone has taken the role in the past who isn't to the "standard" Cunningham proportions.
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LizzieCurry
Broadway Legend
joined:3/7/05
Odd Cunningham Casting in Chicago's
Posted: 11/9/12 at 03:22pm
It's "listen to the weird white guy," instead of "fat guy," and so far it's only been used for Benjamin Schrader. I imagine Michael Buchanan would be next (or maybe "short" for him?).
"Don't patronize me, alright?" - BroadwayStar4
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ClumsyDude15
Broadway Legend
joined:12/11/06
Odd Cunningham Casting in Chicago's
Posted: 11/9/12 at 03:41pm
I went in to audition for the role back when they put out that call for Chicago and other productions, and I can assure you that most of the gentleman there to audition for the role of Cunningham were in the type of Josh/Jared. Also, the gentleman in question happened to be much older looking than myself (I'm twenty four, but I look the age Cunningham would be, nineteen) and looked to be anywhere between twenty seven and older.

Personally, I think Ben will do a great job despite not being the typical Josh/Jared type for Cunningham - he's funny and got a nice voice from what we got to hear from Pitch Perfect. I'm excited to see how Ben does in the role, and wish him and the whole lot the best.

Updated On: 11/9/12 at 03:41 PM
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
Odd Cunningham Casting in Chicago's
Posted: 11/9/12 at 04:11pm
The odd part to me is just that I don't find it all that often that a major show would cast so far away from the "type" of actor who originated the part. Often times actors are typed out of these auditions simply based on their body type so it's odd to me that they would be taking a chance like this, and I question their motivation, but I don't question the actors ability to deliver. I'm sure Ben Platt will be fantastic. Platt is definitely more attractive to me than Gad, and it will certainly make me look at the piece a bit differently if Cunningham is hot and "Hollywood" geek chic. To me, that's a major change.