June Squibb to join the cast of Waitress as “Josie”

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Call_me_jorge
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Has this ever happened before? Changing a major characters gender? This is so interesting... I wonder how this may affect coverage. Like will there still be a male understudy for “joe?” Also will the song now be “take it from an old woman?”

https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/June-Squibb-Joins-Cast-of-WAITRESS-as-Josie-Nicolette-Robinson-Extends-Thru-December-9-20181105

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Waitress#2
Posted: 11/5/18 at 1:47pm
Im guessing this is closing in January then? I mean if they have to change a character and song to get a “name” then they must be pretty desperate
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Waitress#3
Posted: 11/5/18 at 1:51pm

I know that in the Toronto production of "We Will Rock You", the villian Khashoggi was played by a male, and then later in the run, it was (somewhat) stunt cast with a woman.

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Waitress#4
Posted: 11/5/18 at 2:02pm

Bwayfan292 said: "Im guessing this is closing in January then? I mean if they have to change a character and song to get a “name” then they must be pretty desperate"

It wouldn't surprise me. Nicolette Robinson extending until December 9 would leave room for Bareilles to return for the show's final month.

Updated On: 11/5/18 at 02:02 PM
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Waitress#5
Posted: 11/5/18 at 2:04pm
The Waitress twitter account posted a hashtag that says Take It From An Old Mam.
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Posted: 11/5/18 at 2:08pm
Wow, not only are they going to change lines and a song (“Take It From an Old Ma’am” is the altered version according to Waitress’ Instagram) but they’ll have to replace the light up Joe’s Diner sign that hangs above the set. Not to mention, the shirt that they sell at the merch stand that says “Joe’s Pie Diner.”

I’m not against it. It just seems like a lot of unnecessary work and alterations. Why do they need to go through all this trouble? Do they really need a “name” that bad?
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Posted: 11/5/18 at 2:14pm

They don't need to change the set or merchandise. The diner doesn't need to be the character's namesake.

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Posted: 11/5/18 at 2:19pm
I can't imagine June Squibb was cast because the producers think she is going to be a big ticket seller; I think the creatives likely just think she'd be great and a lot of fun in the part. Plus, if they are able to work out a scenario where the role of the diner owner can successfully be played by a male or female actor, it will give regional and amateur theatres more possibilities for casting the show down the line. Seems like a good idea to me.
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Posted: 11/5/18 at 2:25pm

Don't know why they need to change the character's name to Josie....I know plenty of women whose names are Jo

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Posted: 11/5/18 at 2:45pm

June Squibb on Broadway is all I need!

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Waitress#11
Posted: 11/5/18 at 3:16pm

This is actually interesting, especially considering that I've heard a lot of people pushing for a female Dr. P... (which I personally would find pretty fantastic). June Squib certainly isn't going to save the show but I think I'd really like to see her in the role.

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Posted: 11/5/18 at 4:07pm

On a couple of stops on the tour of "Once" the Bank Manager and Emcee were women. There was some dialogue changed for the Bank Manager, as the character's sexuality was brought up in a couple of scenes, but it was pretty seamless.

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Posted: 11/5/18 at 4:09pm
They could just make a small sub plot that joe was her husband who passed and she took over owning the diner, that way they dont need to change any sets
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Posted: 11/5/18 at 4:11pm

QueenAlice said: "I can't imagine June Squibb was cast because the producers think she is going to be a big ticket seller; I think the creatives likely just think she'd be great and a lot of fun in the part. Plus, if they are able to work out a scenario where the role of the diner owner can successfully be played by a male or female actor, it will give regional and amateur theatres more possibilities for casting the show down the line. Seems like a good idea to me."

In 100% agreement.  The people on this board may all know who June Squibb is, but how many people are going to purchase tickets because she is in it (and in a small role)?  I do imagine she will be terrific playing the curmudgeon, but I don't plan toes it again.

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Posted: 11/5/18 at 4:24pm

QueenAlice said: "I can't imagine June Squibb was cast because the producers think she is going to be a big ticket seller; I think the creatives likely just think she'd be great and a lot of fun in the part."

This. I think the casting change is more about the historical significance (or the "gimmick," if you will) of a woman play the role. I like the suggestion that it was the husband's pie shop.

It does seem like they could be getting ready to close in January. Then again, the Weisslers have surprised us before.

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Waitress#16
Posted: 11/5/18 at 9:34pm
I loved her in Nebraska. I was actually pulling for her to win the Oscar (can’t recall who won, but it wasn’t her).

In reference to the name of the cafe. Joe could easily be a nickname for Josie.
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Posted: 11/5/18 at 10:20pm

This is a really weird choice. They can't believe this is going to move tickets, can they? I forgot that the name of the movie she was nominated for was called Nebraska. Also, it doesn't seem as easy of a fit as gender swaps in other shows might be. 

Are the singing demands so intense that they can't stunt cast any of the other parts? I still like the idea of Jennifer Nettles as Jenna. Kelly Clarkson could probably manage it too.

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Posted: 11/5/18 at 10:24pm
Can’t they get Carrie Underwood for a minute?
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Posted: 11/5/18 at 10:50pm
It’s not that people don’t want to play the part. It’s more so who is available. Clarkson is on the Voice and touring. I’d love to see someone else, maybe Tamyra Grey? Take a stab. Or Degarmo? Not sure they’d sell any tickets but never know. But Nettles would be great.
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Posted: 11/6/18 at 12:19am

RippedMan said: "It’s not that people don’t want to play the part. It’s more so who is available. Clarkson is on the Voice and touring. I’d love to see someone else, maybe Tamyra Grey? Take a stab. Or Degarmo? Not sure they’d sell any tickets but never know. But Nettles would be great."

In the Waitress casting thread someone in the know said they had lined up Anna Kendrick as Jenna but she pulled out cos she took a tv show, so Nicolette has extended a few more weeks, so they’re definitely trying to line up bigger names who can sell tickets. 

 

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Posted: 11/6/18 at 2:25am

This is kind of cool. Makes me want to see the show for the first time since the season it opened. 

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Posted: 11/6/18 at 8:03am

This is definitely a trial run for licensing. Old Joe/Old Josie is an obvious "special guest star" part for actors past a certain age, and having it be a gender-neutral role gives a lot of opportunity for theatres to want to put it on or for seasoned performers- maybe even a few legends- to want to step into an undemanding but fun role.

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Posted: 11/6/18 at 10:05am

Waking up and thinking this over again, it makes even less sense. This is like stunt casting Chicago with Fred Casely played as a Frederica. It's like the difference between color blind casting and color conscious casting. It's weird to have gender blind casting when the character's gender does matter. How are they going to rewrite the part about 

 
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losing the baby?

Also, Old Joe's lasciviousness and him wanting Jenna's attention reads differently played by a man than a woman. As does the final resolution. 

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Posted: 11/6/18 at 7:59pm

VintageSnarker said: "Waking up and thinking this over again, it makes even less sense. This is like stunt casting Chicago with Fred Casely played as a Frederica. It's like the difference between color blind casting and color conscious casting. It's weird to have gender blind casting when the character's gender does matter. How are they going to rewrite the part about

 
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losing the baby?

Also, Old Joe's lasciviousness and him wanting Jenna's attention reads differently played by a man than a woman. As does the final resolution."

Josie can be an old lez. Not really a big deal. 

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Posted: 11/6/18 at 8:04pm

Bwayfan292 said: "Im guessing this is closing in January then? I mean if they have to change a character and song to get a “name” then they must be pretty desperate"

You really think she is going to put tons of butts in seats?!?