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Student Blog: 4 Musical Theatre Roles I Would Love to Play

From a Broadway producer to a Mormon missionary, here are some roles I would love to play.

As an actor, I've gotten to play a lot of really fun and memorable roles, from vampire hunter Van Helsing to a naked mole rat who likes to put on clothes. I even got to cross one of my dream roles off my bucket list a couple years ago when I played Michael in Be More Chill. But that was only one role; I've still got several others on the list that I would love to play. So, without further delay, here they are, ranked based on how much I want to play them.

4. Max Bialystock in The Producers

Student Blog: 4 Musical Theatre Roles I Would Love to Play

Up until 2019, I wasn't actually familiar with The Producers. One day during that summer, I saw the 2005 film adaptation on TV and became obsessed. I fell in love with the characters and the music and the zany plot. I ended up listening to the soundtrack everyday for about two months. I even performed a scene from the show with my friend Aren Goodwin at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in January 2020.

In the scene we performed, I actually played Leo Bloom and Aren played Max. If you were to look at us both and try to cast us in this show, you definitely would flip that around. However, given the context of the scene (and the fact that it was part of my audition package for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship), it made more sense for me to play Leo. I loved doing that scene, and I loved playing that character, but I'll be honest: I'm a big guy, so I don't see myself being cast as a scared little man anytime soon.

I also just love the character. He's got some of my favorite lines and moments of the entire show, and I feel like I would have so much fun playing the character. Honestly, I'd love to play any character in The Producers; none of them are like any character I've played before. If I had to choose one, though, I'd definitely love to play Max.

3. Jared Kleinman in Dear Evan Hansen

Student Blog: 4 Musical Theatre Roles I Would Love to Play

I've been active in theatre for over a decade, and it's surprising to me that I haven't really been typecast before. It seems that every role I've played has been different from the last. I would typecast myself as the sidekick or the funny supporting character, but I've only played that kind of character once or twice in the past.

One of my favorite musicals of the last few years is Dear Evan Hansen. It tells a pretty heartbreaking story, but it's not without its upbeat, lighthearted moments. When it doesn't have you sobbing in your seat, chances are it's probably making you laugh. This could be for one of two reasons: something hilariously awkward is happening onstage between two characters, or the insanely cool Jared Kleinman just delivered one of his many one-liners.

It's those lines of dialogue coupled with Jared's sarcastic and over-confident personality that really draw me to the character. Well, that and I don't really like the idea of being the leading man. But playing a supporting character that provides some comic relief in an otherwise emotional show? I like the idea of that very much.

Jared is a character who's written to make the audiences laugh pretty much anytime he's onstage, yet he's not two-dimensional. There's some sort of depth to each character in the show, including Jared. On the surface, he's arrogant and obnoxious, but as the story transitions from act one to act two, his insecurities begin to come to light. Jared just seems like a fun character to play. He's one that'll make the audience laugh while also giving them another character to root for.

2. Patrick Star in SpongeBob SquarePants

Student Blog: 4 Musical Theatre Roles I Would Love to Play

When it was announced that a musical based on the long-running Nickelodeon cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants was in development, I had my doubts. I thought it would just be a huge cash grab that people would forget soon after its run in Chicago. However, when the show announced its transition to Broadway and I heard the original cast recording, my doubts went away. I fell in love with the score and, after seeing the cast perform at the Tony Awards in 2018, literally everything else about it. It also introduced me to a role that I can see myself in.

As a plus-size actor who loves musical theatre, it's rare that I find a musical in which I can see myself as one of the characters. Seeing an actor like Danny Skinner play one of the leads in a Broadway show made me feel seen in a way. The role of Patrick Star is one written for people like me, which is the main reason I feel so drawn to the character. Patrick's also a lovable character who's hilariously written. And who wouldn't want to play a cartoon character onstage? This show looks like so much fun, and I'd love to have the chance to cross it off my musical theatre bucket list.

1. Elder Cunningham in The Book of Mormon

Student Blog: 4 Musical Theatre Roles I Would Love to Play

Getting to perform on Broadway would be a dream come true, and if I could play any role in a Broadway show, it would be Elder Cunningham in The Book of Mormon. Cunningham is a hilarious character who is often portrayed by plus size actors, and I also see similarities between my personality and his. I would also love to play a role that would allow me to play with comedy and be a little over the top. The Book of Mormon is my favorite musical, and Elder Cunningham takes the top spot on my list of dream roles, so I'm not exaggerating when I say that my life would be made if I got to play the role on Broadway.

That last one might be a stretch, but who knows? Maybe the rights will be released sometime in the near future, and I'll at least get to play the character in an amatuer production. Maybe the same will happen with Dear Evan Hansen. As you can see, my list of dream roles is short. It would be really great if I could make it even shorter by crossing these roles off the list.

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