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Student Blog: Inside Face-Out

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The dream cast of my own Inside Out Musical.

Student Blog: Inside Face-Out

There is a trend circulating TikTok where influencers discuss which actors they would cast as their Inside Out characters in their head: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, Disgust, as well as the character Bing Bong.

Inside Out was a popular movie released in 2015 where the audience went on a journey with the personified emotions of teen girl Riley, as she navigated new transitions and growing up. While Riley learns to adjust to a new environment her emotions fight with one another and travel with Bing Bong, Riley's imaginary friend, to retrieve and restore her happiest memories. In analyzing this trend from my perspective, in order to properly cast my Inside Out characters I decided the remake about my emotions would have to be a musical. As others have been picking movie actors, I decided to pick two Broadway actors to portray each of my emotions as if I were cast as Riley in this Inside Out Musical.

Each of my characters are double cast as if it were a musical running eight shows a week. To play Joy, I would cast Eva Noblezada and Annaleigh Ashford. These two actresses could embody Joy so well, since they have an infectious happiness and enjoyment in life that is perfect for the role. I took inspiration from Annaleigh Ashford's career in Legally Blonde, Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Kinky Boots, to cast her as a perfect Joy. Eva Noblezada has mainly played quite serious roles but she brings a bright hopeful energy to what she embodies and has a happy spirit in her concerts that would fit the role of Joy.

For Sadness I would cast Phillipa Soo and Shoshana Bean. While quite different actresses, they would bring different aspects to the role of Sadness that would be fascinating to watch. I could see Phillipa taking a more timid approach while Shoshana would have a more soulful nature. Both of them could also carry an amazing power ballad at the end of Act 1.

One of the first decisions I made was that Anger had to be played by Patti LuPone, if only based on the infamous moment during her run of Gypsy where she called out a photographer. Patti LuPone has played so many fantastic roles that have similar traits of the role Anger, and I could see her holding her ground amid conflicts with the other emotions. Bette Midler could also do a fantastic job as Anger. I think her experience in Gypsy as well as Hocus Pocus and The Politician would make her a perfect fit for the role of Anger.

Anger's opposite, Fear, could be played by Kerry Butler and Stephanie J. Block, in such different ways. Similar to the casting of Sadness, I would love to see two completely different actresses embody a role taking the material in separate directions. I think the contrasts between Kerry Butler's experience playing timid roles and Stephanie J. Block's experience in neurotic roles would make for interesting performances night after night.

Disgust would definitely be brought to life by Idina Menzel and Laura Benanti. Both actresses have the ability to convey disgust through their voice and acting, and would do an amazing job bringing a comic relief to the emotions. I could see both of them playing a sort of aloof disgust similar to how it is portrayed in the Inside Out Movie. I would want Idina Menzel to bring the energy of Maureen in Rent, and for Laura Benanti to bring the energy of Candela from Women of the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

My final character Bing Bong would be played by Nathan Lane and Mandy Patinkin. Bing Bong is a sort of comforting imaginary friend that is the lovable character of the story. He is a soft happy-go-lucky role that has a tragic end leaving the audience in tears. I could see the energy of Nathan Lane fitting this role perfectly as he provides comedy and tries to resolve the conflicts of the emotions, and Mandy Patinkin would bring the lovable soft side that tears out the audience's hearts by the eleven o'clock number.

In my dream cast, I would play the role of Riley, as all these emotions journeyed to save my memories. I would love to see their bickering and resolutions as they express their wants for Riley and work together in the end to save her. The double cast would allow new interpretations of the show night after night, as well as time for the actors to have their own lives and pursue other projects. This would be a female powerhouse musical I would love to see, and I can only hope that my dream cast could become a reality. What would be your Inside Out dream musical cast?


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From This Author Student Blogger: Grace Cutler