I'm talking the-a-tah, not movies versions of stage musicals.
The painfully ugly Julia Murney playing an alluring sexpot in The Wild Party.
Producers inflicting Christina Applegate's "singing" on audience members in Sweet Charity.
Daphne Rubin Vega as Fantine in Les Miserables.
Kristin Chenoweth as Fran in Promises, Promises
(a great singer, and in the right role a deft comedienne, but she has absolutely no sense of melancholy longing, let alone willing to die from it)
Julia Murney was STUNNING in that wild party, even physically.
Julia Murney rocked in The Wild Party. Move on.
I saw Promises, Promises with Chenowith and I agree that she didn't seem to quite capture Miss Kubilick's inner sadness.
Plus, I wish the production hadn't moved the time frame further into the 60s and the two songs added for Chenowith to sing weren't needed.
Sean Hayes, Kate Fineran and Tony Goldwyn were each a delight though... I'd love to see Hayes on stage again.
Julia sang the role wonderfully but let's not be PC, the woman is very ugly. She might be the ugliest working theater actress today. Hideous to look at. Newsweek may have put it nicer but they summed up my general thoughts that there's no way would D'Arcy James and Taye Diggs would fight over that eye sore.
I thought of more.
Norbert Butz as the college hunk in Wicked.
Geriatric Kerri Butler as a gullible teenager in Catch Me If You Can
Wanna-be-goofball Kelli O'Hara in Encores' BELLS ARE RINGING.
Bernadette Peters in Gypsy
Rosie O'Donnell in anything.
Pretty much anyone who's been in 'Chicago" over the last 10 or so years.
Patti LuPone as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard: YES, I saw her create the role in London and with that honker she was NEVER believable as a movie star.
Patti LuPone as Rose Hovick in Gypsy: Rose Hovick was a white-bread lady from Seattle, not an ethnic-looking fishwife from Corona, Queens
It was astonishing when the producers of THE PRODUCERS selected British actor Henry Goodman to succeed Nathan Lane as Max Bialystock. Goodman's utter failure to connect with the role or with American audiences led to his swift departure. Onlookers marveled that a piece of casting so vital to the success of an ongoing smash hit could be so badly botched.
Elena Roger in the recent EVITA revival. My God, her voice is still screeching in my head! The role was totally out of her range. When I listened to the London revival recording 6 years ago, I was hoping they'd find someone else to do the part if/when it came to Broadway. When I learned she was reprising the part in NY, I about went ballistic. Why? She totally ruined the part. You're supposed to love/hate Eva, not want to beat her with a blunt object to shut her up. The characters actions are supposed to make you despise her, but her singing/oratory should thrill you. Elena's voice didn't rise to the occasion. Bad, bad casting.
Liv Ullman in I REMEMBER MAMA
Patti LuPone as a woman men would pay good money to have sex with in LES MISERABLES.
R15, not to mention LuPone doesn't possess the vulnerability or subtlety that the role requires. She's better at loud, brash women (i.e. Evita, Reno Sweeney, Mama Rose) who rise above it all, but you don't buy that her Fantine would be so easily defeated.
No one knows who the fuck you are talking about so shut the fuck up and give it a rest. Broadway sucks, OK?
Thank you Alice Ripley at R17.
Randy Graff as Fantine in the original Broadway production of Les Mis for all the reasons listed above plus she had really bad skin. Ditto Jennifer Butts as Madame Thenardier. She was skinny and looked way too much like Carol Burnett.
John C. Reilly as Stanley Kowalski in the STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE revival in 2005. :-/
How about the Joanna Pacitti/Brittny Kissinger fiasco in the 20th Anniversary Revival of ANNIE? Pacitti, the too-tall twelve-year-old contest winner from Macy's went down with bronchitis one night on the preview tour and the producers threw in a ringer. Kissinger was not the official understudy but one of the orphans, a shorter and much younger one who just happened to be fully prepared to go on. Pacitti was fired at once and Kissinger played Annie through its closing in NY after a disappointing seven months. Pacitti's family sued Macy's for breach of contract and they settled out of court.
I'm with the others, I'm still shocked that Patti LuPone originated the part of Fantine. Has there ever been an actress so incapable of playing vulnerability? And, because, you know, pointless bitchery, Patti as a woman who is essentially sexually harassed to death. Her? Really?
Bernadette would have been perfect in the role, but I guess she was busy doing Sondheim in the eighties.
Are you on drugs? Bernadette would have been awful as Fantine. Just as awfully overparted as she was in Gypsy.
[quote]with that honker she was NEVER believable as a movie star.
Well, that's an easily demolished argument.
Gloria Swanson, who of course originated the part and was arguably the greatest of all glamorous female silent film stars, did not have a small or delicate nose herself.
[quote]Norbert Butz as the college hunk in Wicked.
Agreed! What were they thinking? He's a good actor and has a lovely voice, but he still couldn't carry off Fiyero believably in the early scenes (particularly the crucial "Dancing through Life").
Agree about LuPone in GYPSY. She was awful in the part. Peters was better.
Daly was WAY better although she couldn't sing it. Lansbury was better.
Perhaps you're thinking of "Oh, Streetcar!" starring Marge Simpson, R20. Otherwise, Strretcar is not a musical.
OP, you think Applegate as Charity was bad?
You should have seen it after it closed on Broadway and went out on the first national tour, starring MOLLY RINGWALD.
Molly could neither sing, dance nor act - her leading man called her a "triple threat" (behind her back)
One of her reviews called her dancing "like watching a moose trek thru snow up to her hips"
Completely Believable Jewess Rosie O'Donnell as Golde in "Fiddler on the Roof"
Haha, R28! I thought it was theater in general. Oops!
Uhhh, the honker argument is irrelevant. The fact remained that LuPone was wrong casting to play a person the camera loved. This was pointed out in pretty much every review here in the US where we know from movie stars. Over in the UK bow wows like Elaine Paige, Robbie Williams and Will Young are considered attractive.
[quote]Uhhh, the honker argument is irrelevant.
Then why did you yourself make the honker argument yourself at r11?
Guy Adkins talked shit about Molly Ringwald behind her back? What a gentleman.
Elaine Paige IS attractive compared to LuPone. Plus she has those big eyes. She passed for a silent star.
Well, now he's dead, so he got his in the end.
Guy Adkins was cute. What did he die of?
Colon cancer, 3 years ago.
Elaine Paige is a horse. How long have you been blind, R35. Honestly, she is one of the least attractive women ever to grace a Broadway stage. What do you find so attractive? Her silver mullet or that leather skin and double chin she's been sporting since she was in her 20s?
Brooke Shields in Cabaret. Painful. And the costumes and wigs made her look like a drag queen.
Betty Buckley in Song and Dance. What were they thinking? Sang the hell out of it but trying to pass her off as a young English woman trying to navigate her way through NYC was a bad idea.
And the Brit accent and came and went. Mostly went.
Stritch in A Little Night Music. Well, at least she got to wear a nice hat in the second act.
LuPone in Gypsy. Vulgar. Daly did it best.
Gina Getshon was terrible (and miscast) in Cabaret, too.
Bill Irwin in BYE BYE BIRDIE. Although really, that entire cast was one big casting mistake.
[quote] trying to pass her off as a young English woman trying to navigate her way through NYC was a bad idea. And the Brit accent
Shouldn't you also mention Bernadette Peters?
R21, I'm sure every orphan in every production that has ever existed is prepared to go on as Annie.
How do you think I got the job?
Buckley only played like, what? 9 performances?
Who lasted longer? Betty Buckley in Song & Dance or Stockard Channing in The Rink?
Helen Lawson as Desiree Armfeldt. So drunk she fell asleep while singing.
Who the fuck cares, R45. No one remembers that shit anyway.
Liza Minnelli subbing for Julie Andrews in Victor/Victoria
Julia Murney is not ugly at all - what is wrong with you? She was great in FALLING by the way - a VERY sad play.
Don't Even Start Today I am Not Having It
Ugly or not. Julia was no Toni Collette
Nell Carter in Annie
I don't care how PC you want to be, you just cannot have a big fat black woman terrorizing a small white child. Nobody was willing to be that color blind and the audiences stayed away in droves.
Julia Murney isn't ugly? She's horrifying looking. Julia looks she underwent unsuccessful burn reconstructive surgery AND gender reassignment surgery at bargain basement prices using a Groupon.
LOL, R52. But I'd say Murney is sort of stage-sexy. Or at least she was, back in her WILD PARTY days.
Miss Nell was already quite sick when she was doing "Annie."
Thank you for bringing up Julia Murney. I was young and broke when that show started previews. I saved my pennies to buy a full price ticket (I think $45!), and loved everything about the production except her. She sang well as she flitted around the stage, but her acting abilities were lacking. I remember a review (was it the Times?) that said she acted like a lingerie model. I thought that was very accurate.
R55, If by quite sick you mean not managing her diabetes because she had power and control issues with the condition, you are right. However, that is not the reason that tickets were not sold. She did, indeed, give a horrible performance, but you had to buy a ticket to have seen it. Most people did not buy tickets for the very reason I mention up thread. The producers actually did some research on why the tour was not selling.
Patti LuPone won an Olivier award for Fantine.
I knew this was going to turn into a Patti bashing thread. What is this, 1995? She has two Tonys. YOU don't, r11.
Julia has dead eyes. Always has always will. So does Kelli Ohara
Ricky Martin in Evita- he played the role of Everyman as if he was in The Mickey Mouse Club. His co star Elena Roger, while very talented and sweet, couldn't sing the role and faded into the gigantic scenery and was dwarfed by the chorus....wasn't there anyone else in Buenos Aires who was under 6 feet tall?
Nick Jonas in How To Succeed....zero charm and that expression throughout looking like he needs to take a dump and wayyyy too young.
Chita Rivera as Puffer in Drood....who knew that Puffer was from the Bronx?
Blythe Danner as Phyllis in revival of Follies....former showgirls cannot be clods.
Matthew Broderick in Nice Work.....a romantic lead?- puhleeze
Bernadette in "Annie Get Your Gun"
Julia's eyes are creepy. It's those droopy eyelids. And her premature wrinkles around her mouth give her an ever present frown even when she is happy.
This is ever so slightly off-topic, but I can think of at least one casting mistake that DIDN't happen. In 1985, in the original La Cage Aux Folles, after Gene Barry had successful played and left the 2nd lead; ditto the great Australian actor Keith Michel, the next announced Georges was:
Robert Stack! Great excitement about this casting.
Except - from what I read, I believe in the News (or the Post; sorry, long time ago (yes, I am old!):
Supposedly after - first dress? before the first preview, I'm sure - Arthur Laurents, not one to mince words, said something to Stack like:
Well, you can't act, you can't dance, you can't sing, so...???
And (supposedly) Stack flew back to LA in a snit.
TO be replaced in a couple of weeks by:
Van Johnson. Respectable run; respectable reviews; I saw him - no Keith Michel or even Gene Barry!: but not bad.
Ah, Bway in the 80's...
How can you fuck up playing George(s) in La Cage?
Don't know if it's fair to mention someone only intended to be a 2-week (vacation) replacement (also, not to speak ill of the dead), but:
In late 82 or perhaps 83, I got as a birthday or present (sorry, memory bad) tickets to "Nine" from my boss. I was dying to see it; brought a co-worker.
BUT - Raul Julia was on vacation (doubtless well-deserved.) If I had seen this in the paper, I didn't remember; ANYway, filling in was a "star": Bert Convy!
We saw him his first performance (on a Tuesday). Not technically bad, but SO wrong for the part! He got through the 2 weeks, but buzz around town (and in the papers) was that he was miserable in the part.
(Although Convy did chat with my co-worker, waiting for her brother to drive in from Brooklyn and pick her up) at the stage door, and she said he was very nice.
Think his career peaked with the film of Cabaret; he was certainly good I would think (before my time going to shows) in the original Fiddler...
A few films; friends with Burt Reynolds - but after Nine: just a lot of quiz shows, right?
Died too young at 57; I AM glad I saw him but definitely WAY miscast.
THat is all.
I think you mean the Original Broadway Prodution of CABARET.
How do YOU know I don't have two Tony Awards, R59/bitch? It's laughable of you to assume anything. This is an anonymous forum. I could be Nathan Lane for all you know. And you don't.
[quote]She has two Tonys. YOU don't
George W. Bush was sworn in twice as President of the USA. That doesn't mean he was any good at being president.
I was one of the few unfortunate and abused theatergoers who suffered through Nell Carter's Miss Hannigan. I actually felt like one of the terrified onstage orphans on the receiving end of nothing but her rage. There was not the slightest trace of wit, humor or broad comedy in sight. The woman may have been ill, but if she had the strength to muster up volcanic anger, she could have also coaxed a laugh or two out of the audience. I think I'm still traumatized by her performance.
Not Broadway but ---
Mary Travers (Peter, Paul and Mary) as Nellie in a summer stock production of SOUTH PACIFIC at the St. Louis Muny 1968 season.
elder theatre queen who was young....... once
OMG! Bert Convy is dead? I thought he was just on vacation.
71 posts and no one has mentioned Liza in Victor, Victoria!!!!!!
Bert Convy and Sergio Franchi (the final lead in Nine) are both listed in that brain tumor thread....plus Raul Julia died young too...weird.
R72, you need glasses. Go check out r48, then apologize to us all.
Patti as the Baker's beautiful young wife in the Baker's Wife.
Where does one begin?
Bernadette Peters was so awful and horribly miscast in "Gypsy", it was cringe worthy. When I hear people say they loved her I know they're insane.
How about Olympia Dukakis as the singing lead in Encore's revival of "70 Girls, 70"? Shocking.
Almost as painful was the chirpy Christine Ebersole playing a real broad like Margo Channing in "Applause" also at Encores? Don't tell me she had the flu, yeah I heard that, but her horrid acting and miscasting was bizarre!
Remember the gorgeous and built Timothy Carhart as the dumpy, shy, unattractive Mitch in the Jessica Lange "A Streetcar Named Desire"? Huh?
I was also baffled by the small, mumbly, anti-charismatic black hole of an actor Kevin Anderson as Val in the Vanessa Redgrave revival of "Orpheus Descending"? Val is supposed to be pure sexual charisma, and Anderson gave a method acting class performance. He was so dull it hurt!
Chita Rivera plays Princess Puffer in "Drood"as an old Puerto Rican housewife from Queens, and the 35 year old Fieryo in "Wicked" of Norbert Leo Butz was hilarious. Kristen Chenoweth all wrong for "Promises Promises", but quite game all in all.
Remember that after her 5-year run in "Applause" (Broadway, National Tour and London), Lauren Bacall did a national tour as Ruth in "Wonderful Town" in 1976! I actually think George Hearn played opposite her. Remarkably ballsy, huh?
R76- Saw that tour of WONDERFUL TOWN with Bacall at the St. Louis Muny. Yes, George Hearn was in the production.
Agree with so much of your post.. Ebersole-- I don't care if she did have the flu she made for a terrible Margo Channing.
Dukakis-- ill prepared.
Kristi Dawn was game but she was all wrong for Fran..
I may be in the minority but I think Bernadette eters was interestingly cast in Gypsy, Annie Get Your Gun, A Little Night Music and Follies.
She's just a terrible actress who doesn't really know how to create a character. But she was not really miscast.
Christ, Fanny is as tiresome as the Streep Troll. The real horror in Gypsy was LuPone, who played it all at one level. Of course, she had the misfortune of being directed by Laurents. Peters was lucky to escape that.
Peters isn't a terrible actress at all - she just needs a good director. She was brilliant in Mack and Mabel Sunday in the Park and Into the Woods. But sh WAS miscast in AGYG. separate from her acting, her persona was all wrong. She had been offered a revival of ONE TOUCH OF VENUS a couple of years before - THAT she would have been perfect for.
Ebersole was all wrong for APPLAUSE. Baranski would have been a good choice, and Donna Murphy an even better one. But let's face it, it's a. Rotten musical.
Did Sheri Rene Scott in the lead of WOMEN ON THE VERGE get mentioned yet?
What about 45 year old Debbie Reynolds boozing her way though the Gower Champion AGYG in 1977?
Mea maxima culpa, r74.
Ethel Merman was all wrong for Annie Get Your Gun and yet she triumphed in the role.
Betty Hutton, OTOH, was perfectly cast....and yet dreadful.
I still insist that some posters don't understand the difference between miscasting and inept acting.
They've had some weird casting sometimes at ENCORES! I remember when they did LADY IN THE DARK the first year, and there was absolutely brilliant casting in the smaller roles (Edward Hibbert from FRASIER was Russell Paxton, Tony Goldwyn was Charlie Johnson), but Christine Ebersole was completely wrong in the title role of Liza Elliott.
R83, OP didn't ask for miscasting. He asked for "Casting Mistakes" - a broader term which would theoretically include mistakes because the performance turned out terrible - but could include miscasting, a la Stritch in Night Music.
Blythe Danner as Phyllis in Follies. A former follies girl who couldn't high kick in Ballad of Lucy and Jessie?
Found the clip of DRV singing IDAD on YouTube. It's certainly different.
There's an interview with her on Playbill before her run started. I feel sorry for her, she sounds so naive. Talking about how after 10 weeks the producers were going to let her leave for 3 months to do a show at the Public (Jack Goes Boating) and then she'd be back in Les Mis. Of course they replaced her with Lea Salonga and she never came back.
Ally Sheedy as Hedwig.
That Brat Packer never had an angry inch. Now I do not mind non-traditional casting in general, but I do think that casting should generally stay within gender lines.
Plus, she could not handle the rock score.
R63, you've got to be kidding. -- how could Van Johnson possibly play a gay man?
I was an overseas tourist in New York and was wondering whether to go and see Applegate in Sweet Charity. Fortunately I went to Forbidden Broadway first. I remember their lyric on the subject began:
There's gotta be someone better than me
There's gotta be someone currently free
Betty Hutton to replace Carol Burnett in "Fade Out -- Fade In."
They replaced Daphne in Les Mis because many audience members were loudly griping about her performance at intermission. Some even stormed to the box office and asked for their money back. My friend worked on the show during that time and had never seen anything like it.
Deborah Van Valkenburgh sp? from some sitcom was hired as a replacement for CITY OF ANGELS. I don't believe she ever went on. Fired during rehearsals.
Ditto Louis Gossett, Jr. as Billy Flynn in CHICAGO.
Jenna Elfman to replace Jane Krakowski in NINE. Left due to 'creative differences.'
DL fav Eleanor Parker for PAL JOEY. Replaced by Joan Copeland.
Zsa Zsa Gabor in APPLAUSE mini tour, not Broadway. Might have been summer stock.
Faye Dunaway in Sunset Boulevard
Alice Ripley in the Baker's Wife (and in pretty much everything). This annoying hag of a C-list Broadway actor pisses me to no end. Her singing is always forced and painful; not to mention her diction which bothers me more often than not. I just don't get all the hype.
"Sing for me, my meadowlaeerk, fly with me on a silver moeerning. Past the sea where the dolphins baeerk..."
Elena Roger in Evita.
Tovah Feldshuh as Rose in Gypsy. Meh.
Ann Morrison and Liz Callaway as Norma Desmond. *barfs*
Lea Salonga in Cats. Loved her in everything she does but the role of a washed-up, once glamorous cat is simply wrong for her. Her "Memory" was perfectly/beautifully sung.
Nick Jonas in LesMis and How To Succeed. Nice ass though.
Lauren Bacall in Woman of the Year
Where did Ann Morrison and Liz Callaway do Norma Desmond?
[quote]Patti LuPone won an Olivier award for Fantine.
She was also offered Broadway but she didn't want to sit in the basement of a theater for three hours a night for a year.
The Robert Stack debacle was all novice Broadway producer Alan Carr. He hired Stack without telling anyone and even had full page NY Times ad heralding him before anyone knew he couldn't do it.
Ann Morrison did SUNSET BLVD at Music Theatre of Wichita. I thought she was good. I also saw Close, Buckley, Paige and Petula in the role. I'd rank her up near the top to be honest. Callaway did the role... was it D.C.? Not sure.
Not to be too pedantic, but I'm not sure we should be counting Music Theater of Wichita productions in a thread about bad casting. Our time on earth is limited, after all.
Bernadette Peters is a favorite, but she was awful in Annie Get Your Gun. This seemed both miscasting and a poor performance.
Ann Crumb was unbearable in Aspects of Love.
Henry Winkler as a porn star in The Performers.
Al Pacino in the recent revival of Glengarry Glen Ross.
Al Pacino in Richard III.
Liza in The Rink.
Tom Smothers in I Love my Wife.
Luci Arnaz in They're Playing our Song
Barbara Walsh in the Company revival.
Yes, I know the this is about musicals, but I could not resist Pacino...
[quote] Henry Winkler as a porn star in The Performers.
Why are 90% of this thread about bad casted women? Theater Queens, can't live with them, can't beat them to death with a rolled up Playbill.
^ That's because very few roles written for men are interesting, R105