dramamama611 said: "Im fairly certain new costumes are ALWAYS made...on Broadway.”In some cases, absolutely. Especially contemporary clothing. But there are a lot of circumstances where they will not rebuild especially when the item is expensive (gowns, etc) and/or they know a show is closing.
New costume are always made for new casts, most replacements don't always have their costumes right away, especially in shows like Wicked where every costume requires intricate and couture construction. Even remountings of certain shows like the Les Mis revival that was last here was costumed with most of the stuff already being in storage. You should take your "fairly certain" and try learning new things when people have facts to tell you.
LOOKS LOOKS LOOKS! I'm not defending it, but showbiz has always been focused on looks for marketability, and audiences are typically inclined to see more attractive people. To deny this is naive. Yes, there are exceptions to the rule, and some talents simply will not be denied, but producers know they have a better shot at success with someone who conforms more closely to the ideals of physical beauty than not. That is the history of show business.
Wow this thread is W I L D. My heart has sunk at some of these responses. Why are so many people conflating attractiveness and weight? There are plenty of people who are absolutely gorgeous and happen to be overweight. This is where the problem begins.
I'm asking as a general questions, are heavier actors even sent out by their agents for some of these auditions to be seen? Are heavier folks that show up to open calls make it into callbacks or further? I'm just wondering since we're asking about casting folks of size, do they ever even make it to the director's and choreographer's eyes, if at all?
I have had great luck the last few years, regionally, in being a larger actor cast in some roles I wouldn't usually be considered for. Mortimer in "Arsenic in Old Lace," Edward Bloom in "Big Fish," Robert in "Boeing, Boeing" to name a few. In each case I've been told by one or more audience members that when they first heard I'd been cast in said role, or the first time I came on stage, they were doubtful about me playing it because of my size but within minutes of my performance they shed any doubts and enjoyed the performance immensely. Audiences are a lot more open minded and accepting than we often give them credit for. Other than a few jerks (who are usually suffering from low body image themselves) audiences will buy into different body types playing various roles. The main thing they care about is the talent. And as someone who lost out on a role I really wanted once because "the set was too wobbly," I believe that, possibly dangerous special effects aside (i.e. flying, trapdoors, etc.), any kind of technical excuse is utter BS and just pure laziness.
The short answer is no. In musical theater there are 2 sizes: Leading Man/Lady & Character Actor. Leading Man/Lady: Slim, attractive, talent is the last thing to matter - Character Actor: Usually overweight, funny, outgoing. But there's a middle ground of people that we don't see which are the "thicker" people. Like, I remember seeing Title of Show and Heidi talking about how she didn't get Mamma Mia because she didn't fit into the costume, so the other girl got the part. Now, Heidi isn't fat by any means, but she's thicker - she's got a butt, basically. And these types we don't see a lot on Broadway. It tends to just be the super skinny/lean builds. And I wouldn't champion Casey N. on anything. All of the "bigger" actors in his shows are the side kicks or the smaller funny parts.
I think it's important to not conflate being "sexually attractive" or "hot" or whatever with being "pleasant looking." Someone can be overweight or thick or whatever and still be pleasant to look at from a purely aesthetic point of view. I don't think anyone believes that the audience should want to screw every member of the cast.That said, in terms of "romantic" roles, I think a lot of people have some weird biological thing going on where even though in the back of their minds they know it's pretend, their animal brain is more likely to give approval to "attractive" people "mating" (even if it's just singing a duet and kissing a little bit). So the average audience member is still going to want, say, Elphaba and Fiyero to be played by "hot" actors, because biologically, their brain is more accepting of that. "Good job! Go make beautiful, healthy babies! Advance the human race!" Now what a certain group of people or society are inclined to think of as "hot" changes throughout the ages somewhat, and is always ultimately up to personal preference, but I do think that health is a big factor. If an actor is visiblly overweight to the point that it makes them look unhealthy, I think that can be limiting, whether they are auditioning for romantic roles or not. The average person, if they had to choose, would rather spend two hours watching a play or movie with people who are not overweight, as opposed to people who are. Especially if those people are overweight to the point of obesity or being visibly unhealthy.I'm not saying any of these things are "right" or "okay" or whatever. Just as a sort of amateur psychologist (and an actor always trying to figure out what roles are available that I might be "right" for as well), this is what I make of why certain roles are cast the way that they are. Human beings, like most other animals, judge each other on how we look, both in real life and in theater/film. It's biology.
Head Over Heels made no mention of the size of Bonnie Milligan's character- the character was just very confident in her beauty. Milligan did that, and everyone on that stage supported it, and it worked like gangbusters.
Kad said: "Head Over Heels made no mention of the size of Bonnie Milligan's character- the character was just very confident in her beauty. Milligan did that, and everyone on that stage supported it, and it worked like gangbusters."Exactly. It was the one aspect of the show that was almost universally praised.
treblemakerz said: "This thread is an absolute disaster." Yup. Pretty much.
dmwnc1959 said: "treblemakerz said: "This thread is an absolute disaster."Yup. Pretty much." This thread is actually very tame compared to most threads about social issues on this board...
We have deleted a number of posts in this thread that discussed individual performers as being overweight in one way or another. While some of those posts were in support of the mentioned performers, we do not those types of references being representative of individuals on the boards. We have also allowed discussions about certain performers when they themselves have publicly discussed it. Obviously we can't be aware of every public comment that an artist has made, so if you would like to reference comments made by specific artists on this subject, please include a link to those published comments. This is obviously a sensitive subject, so we are going to err on the side of sensitivity on this one. That being said, we understand that making points and references to actual real-life situations are important to having the discussion. So, just try to make sure that your posts are talking about the issues and not individual people, unless they have been open about the subject before. Thank you for understanding the situation.
I'm just saying we see it on sitcoms a lot - there are plenty of leads on CBS that are overweight or even just "thicker," yet on Broadway - in musical theater - it doesn't seem to be that way.
I know enough people in the business to know that there is no such thing as body positivity in show business. None. If you're rejected in an audition and ask why casting directors will tell you to your face "You're too fat." I don't think it's done anymore but there was a time directors could go up to actors with a sharpie pencil and draw the circles of fat they'd want the actors to lose. Drug use and smoking cigarettes to keep the weight off is as common as eating candy.In fact IN OPERA where there's actually a stereotype about fat opera singers it's not uncommon for directors to bluntly tell singers that they're too fat for the production.It's not going to change either. It's too engrained in the culture that being overweight means not being "committed enough" to the craft.
JBroadway said: "dmwnc1959 said: "treblemakerz said: "This thread is an absolute disaster."Yup. Pretty much."This thread is actually very tame compared to most threads about social issues on this board..."I agree.
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