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Heather Headley in CAROLINE, OR CHANGE?

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somethingwicked
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Heather Headley in CAROLINE, OR CHANGE?#1
Posted: 5/26/08 at 11:37pm
The more I listen to this gem of a show (which I fall in love with again and again upon repeated re-visits,) the more I think that Heather Headley would tear up the role of Caroline in about five years.

It seems to be such a perfect match for her natural intensity.

Thoughts?
Tonya Pinkins: Then we had a "Lot's Wife" last June that was my personal favorite. I'm still trying to get them to let me sing it at some performance where we get to sing an excerpt that's gone.
Tony Kushner: You can sing it at my funeral.
lightguy06222
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You mean in 5 years she would have matured enough to play the role?


And I mean mature regarding age, not behavior.
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somethingwicked
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lightguy, Caroline is supposed to be 39, as mentioned within the context of the show.

Considering Headley will be 34 this year, she's not too far off from being the right age to play the role.
Tonya Pinkins: Then we had a "Lot's Wife" last June that was my personal favorite. I'm still trying to get them to let me sing it at some performance where we get to sing an excerpt that's gone.
Tony Kushner: You can sing it at my funeral.
Updated On: 5/26/08 at 11:42 PM
lightguy06222
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Hmm... in my opinion, Headley has a MUCH younger look! In the OBC, although Caroline is said to be 39, she has an older look.
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Her accent/phrasing might not work for this role. However, she would sing the hell out of it and it would be a very different Caroline from Pinkins (possibly for the worst).
Jazzysuite82
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Yeah I'd say give Heather 10 years. I don't think it'd be believable on her quite yet. As far as her being right for it...I don't see it but who knows.
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Heather may BE 34, but she doesn't PLAY 34. She would sooner play Deena than Caroline at this point.
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After the way she killed "Ain't No Party" in the AFB DREAMGIRLS cast recording, I really have no interest in seeing her play this mammoth role, then again I'm not really a fan of hers.
I much rather wait the 5-10 years till Anika Noni Rose is the right age to play the role, now that I would pay tons of money to see.
And even if she probably doesn't have the acting expertise that say a Tonya Pinkin or Adriane Lennox do, I'd kill to hear Jennifer Holliday's rendition of "Lot's Wife."
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I'd honestly rather see her as Shug Avery.
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"Considering Headley will be 34 this year, she's not too far off from being the right age to play the role."

Just because someone is a certain age doesn't mean they look the age of a character the same age as them.
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Ray, I don't want to sound too harsh, and I do respect your opinion on Heather Headley, but I don't think it's fair to use Headley's version of "Ain't No Party" to prove that Headley does not have a good range. Even Lillias White, who sounded great at the one night concert of South Pacific, was not up to snuff the night of the Dreamgirls concert. Also, There are many recordings that shows just how much of a range she has (even some very high soprano notes as proven in "Cry Like the Wind" from Do Re Mi).

But, then again I am a fan :)
Updated On: 5/27/08 at 09:57 AM
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re: Heather Headley in CAROLINE, OR CHANGE?#11
Posted: 5/27/08 at 10:50am
While I also was extremely disappointed by Heather's massacre of Ain't No Party, I have to say that her singing was the only thing I thought she did well in Aida. Her affected speech patterns and mumbled dialogue made me question how she ever won a Tony. Personally, I'm not convinced she has the acting chops to play Caroline which, as illustrated by Pinkins, is far more important than singing chops.
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re: Heather Headley in CAROLINE, OR CHANGE?#12
Posted: 5/27/08 at 11:13am
I'm no fan of Headley's "Aint No Party" or any of her vocals at the Dreamgirls Concert recording, but to give her some slack, they were all in poor voice. It was the week after 9/11 and I'm amazed they got through it at all...even Lillias had vocal problems, and Billy Porter had to re-record some of his tracks...and the original Michelle, LaChanze, had to be replaced because she lost her husband. Tamara Tunie is fairly terrible on the recording, but considering the timing...well, I cant fault anyone their vocals.

I dont care for Headley in Aida, but did love her in The Lion King, especially her "Shadowlands."
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re: Heather Headley in CAROLINE, OR CHANGE?#13
Posted: 5/27/08 at 11:49am
Everyone's talking about "Ain't No Party" being the standard to judge the vocal prowess needed for Caroline or Change. Let's just remember that Caroline isn't exactly rangy. Remember who played that? She's not exactly known for high belting.

I DO agree however that Heather MIGHT not have the acting chops to do Caroline...but in 10 years who knows. Actors mature.

I think we might need to wait more than 10 years to see Anika be able to play this. Let's remember that 4 years ago she played 16...she's in her mid 30's now. That might be interesting to see.

Too bad Donna Murphey's not black. I'd love to see her do this role..of course that'd be comical now.

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Everyone's talking about "Ain't No Party" being the standard to judge the vocal prowess needed for Caroline or Change.

Actually, nobody said that at all.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
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"After the way she killed "Ain't No Party" in the AFB DREAMGIRLS cast recording, I really have no interest in seeing her play this mammoth role,"

That's what I was referring to...and I was being sarcastic.
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Personally, I think Headley is over-hyped. I've never understood her appeal, her Tony win, her fans, none of it. That, however, is just me.

"Caroline, or Change" is one of my favorite shows. Tonya Pinkins was obnoxiously brilliant in this show. I'd sooner take my own eyes that see Headley in this role.

I'd like to see LaChanze take it on, actually.

-Vincent
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At no point did I refer to Headley's voice in my original post (anyone who knows my taste from my posts knows I MUCH prefer an actor who can sing than a singer who can act, and I know NOTHING about notes or singing range), I was merely referring to her over-the-top, annoying acting.
I do think Headley adds a certain intensity to her roles that could indeed work for Caroline Thibodeaux but at the same time I do not think this intensity is ever directed or controlled in the right way. Her singing in AIDA is enjoyable but the overdramatic line readings have me rolling my eyes all over.
Pinkins added so many layers to this woman... I just can't see Headley doing anything remotely close to this. But what do I know?
Jewishboy, you know how much I respect your opinion, and I understand you're a fan of hers...she just doesn't appeal to me.
I think in 10 years Anika Noni Rose could play the role, don't you think?
I do have a question, does anyone think Chandra Wilson could play this role? I find her to be such a brilliant acting, her Dotty was so fascinating, and I would probably love seeing her in the role.
And I'm still waiting for Donna Murphy to sing "Lot's Wife" or the "Dotty and Caroline" sequence (a duet with Mary Testa) at one of the Miscast benefit concerts.
"Some people can thrive and bloom living life in a living room, that's perfect for some people of one hundred and five. But I at least gotta try, when I think of all the sights that I gotta see, all the places I gotta play, all the things that I gotta be at"
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Personally, I'd like to see Fuschia Walker as Caroline. I think she could perform the hell out of the role.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
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You refered to the cast recording so I assumed you were talking about the way she say sang. After seeing it, I think her acting of the song is just fine. It's no where near as hard as Caroline. Still Heather's just not right for this role.

Chandra would be the right type but she can't sing this at all. I think that'd be far to tough for her.

I don't think that Anika would be right for this either. I think she's great but again she's the wrong type.
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Well, I didn't see the performance so the cast recording is all I have to judge. And I agree, it is nowhere near as hard as Caroline, which is my point.
I guess Chandra Wilson would have issues getting through the score, but oh couldn't she just act the hell out of it?
I don't think Anika is necessarily the wrong type, her Caroline would probably be closer to Lenox' than Pinkins', I think it might work...again in about 10 years or so. And I know she just played 16 four years ago, but there are no traces of the teenaged and rebellious Emmie in the breath-taking and insanely sexy performance she is currently giving in CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF.
"Some people can thrive and bloom living life in a living room, that's perfect for some people of one hundred and five. But I at least gotta try, when I think of all the sights that I gotta see, all the places I gotta play, all the things that I gotta be at"
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Too bad Donna Murphey's not black. I'd love to see her do this role..of course that'd be comical now.


Would....pay....SOOOOO....much.....money......too......see.


Maybe in some kind of concert??? Oh my goodness. I'd die.
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re: Heather Headley in CAROLINE, OR CHANGE?#22
Posted: 5/27/08 at 11:47pm
I understand Ray. And yes, I agree that both Chandra Wilson and Anika Noni Rose could make fascinating Caroline's. I would also love to see Mary Bond Davis attempt it, her singing gives me goose bumps.