BWW Blog: Fantasy Casting AMERICAN IDOL's Top-5 in Musicals Real & Imagined
In last week's American Idol recap, I mused that some enterprising theatre producer should snag the stage rights* to the Jack Black movie SCHOOL OF ROCK and cast IDOL front-runner Caleb Johnson in the lead role. In addition, earlier in the season, I said that Caleb should cover a song by Meat Loaf, a Broadway vet three times over. So, that got me thinking, if I were going to fantasy cast the American Idol Top-5 in classic and "potential" musicals, what shows would work best?
Let me know what you think of my picks, and chime in with your own in the comments below, or on Twitter @BWWMatt. And of course, don't forget to check back Wednesday right after the show for my full recap and critique of Wednesday's Top-5 "Viewer's Choice" show.
Now, onto Bernie Telsey moment:
Throughout this season, Jena has shown both a willingness to tackle many different musical personalities, and an ability to belt the bejesus out of some high notes. She has slain songs by such varied artists as Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Radiohead, Pink, Paramore, Zedd, and Lana Del Rey, being true to the original, while throwing in her own brand of vocal power. So, for this 17-year-old I chose roles that would play to both of those strengths.
Revival: Brooklyn in BROOKLYN THE MUSICAL (a role played on tour by IDOL alum Diana Degarmo). In this 2004 show, Brooklyn participates in a singing competition with "the biggest purse in the history of histories." While American Idol surely isn't making that claim, I thought the symmetry was too perfect to overlook.
New show: Sarah, Allison, Cosima, and the rest of the Clone Club in ORPHAN BLACK: THE MUSICAL. As shown in the pictures above, she's got the faces down.
I am not the only one to think Caleb might be the lovechild of Jack Black and Meat Loaf, so I decided to cast the season's resident rocker in roles that his hypothetical fathers have made famous.
Revival: Eddie in THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW (played originally on Broadway and in THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW by Meat Loaf).
New Show: Dewey Finn in SCHOOL OF ROCK: THE MUSICAL (played in the movie by Jack Black). Can you imagine him rocking out in the 11 o'clock title song in the private school uniform? Perfect, huh?
I have a love-hate relationship with Jessica. I really like her voice, it has a unique rumble that makes it perfect for some of the gritty classic rock songs she has been singing lately. She has embodied the moody rocker vibe ever since Hollywood Week, when she was portrayed as the "angry" one that no one could get along with. Fair? I don't know, but it sure fits that rock 'n' roll persona she gives off.
My biggest gripe with her is that she does not seem to be able to convey the same emotions with her face as she does with her voice. At times I have called her "dead-eyed," "emotionless," "robotic," and other adjectives to convey her apparent lack of human feeling. So, I have chosen shows that will highlight her vocal strengths with her death-like facial limitations.
Revival: Morticia Addams in THE ADDAMS FAMILY. With all of the black leather she wears, she just needs to get rid of the pink streaks in her hair, and she is good to go.
New Show: Joanna Eberhart in THE STEPFORD WIVES: a rock musical
For the entire season, Alex has been the show's most original contestant, both in terms of musicality and clothing. I'm going to be honest, I don't exactly know what a "hipster" is, but I know that Alex is one. I think these show choices highlight his tender vocals and unique personal style.
Revival: Seymour in LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
(Can't you just imagine him wearing the classic sweater vest and bow tie singing "Suddenly Seymour" with someone like Taylor Swift*? And the scatting thing he does would be awesome in "Now [It's Just the Gas]"?
*Think about the great break-up song she could write about an ex that fed people to a carnivorous plant.)
New Show: All of the Fred Armisen roles in PORTLANDIA: THE MUSICAL
Sam has been the heart throb of the season, eliciting swoons and screams from the preteen girls in the audience. While his personality and performance skills have left quite a bit to be desired, his tone and range have been impressive. I am hoping that these things will be beneficial in the shows I picked, because other than knowing that they both require a guy that little girls will scream for, I don't really know anything about the subjects. Sorry!
Revival: Troy Bolton in HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL
New Show: Harry Styles in STORY OF MY LIFE: THE ONE DIRECTION MUSICAL
So, what do you think? Do I have any hits on my hands? Also, what do you think of my photoshopping skills? Let me know what you think in the comments and check back with me tomorrow night for my extremely opinionated recap of the Top-5 show.