PLAYBILL PICKS: Ten "Glee" Actors We'd Like to See On the Great White Way (And in What Shows)
By Michael Gioia
With the imminent arrival of "Glee" actor Darren Criss in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying — who will ring in the New Year as J. Pierrepont Finch — Playbill.com has come up with ten other "Glee" stars we'd like to see illuminate the New York theatre scene when season three of the Fox hit series wraps filming.
Lea Michele (Rachel Berry): Since the Broadway-bound revival of Funny Girl was postponed and so many great gals have already flown over the Emerald City in Wicked, the "Glee" star would be a perfect match for Dorothy Gale in a Broadway version of The Wizard of Oz. The new adaptation — currently playing the West End's London Palladium — features the classic Harold Arlen/E.Y. Harburg score plus additional music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. If the production were to make the leap to Broadway, Michele would be the perfect choice to fill out the ruby slippers — not only is she starring in the upcoming "Dorothy of Oz" film, but who could forget her duet with Chris Colfer (Kurt Hummel) on the Barbra Streisand and Judy Garland classic "Get Happy / Happy Days Are Here Again"?
Chris Colfer (Kurt Hummel): Colfer's tap dancing performance in the Dec. 13 "Glee" Christmas special sealed the deal that he should eventually perform Elder McKinley's "Turn it Off" in the Broadway hit The Book of Mormon. Colfer, who comes equipped with a sky-high vocal range and spot-on comic timing, would work well in Mormon (if and when Tony nominee Rory O'Malley leaves for a future project).
Dianna Agron (Quinn Fabray): Mamma Mia! recently marked its 10th year on Broadway. In celebration of the musical's milestone, wouldn't it be great to have some gleeks grace the Winter Garden stage? Although Agron wasn't a lead vocalist on the "Glee" rendition of "Dancing Queen," the actress would be a perfect "Chiquitita" for the role of Sophie Sheridan—Agron would match up well with Lisa Brescia, who continues her long-running stint as Donna Sheridan, and her dance experience from being a part of the Cheerios proves that she can keep up with all of Anthony Van Laast's choreography.
Harry Shum, Jr. (Mike Chang): Producers for the stage adaptation of Newsies recently held auditions for a few more newsboys to fill out the ensemble of the upcoming Broadway production. Shum, Jr., who plays dancing man Mike Chang on the Fox hit series, would be just the right person to keep up with Christopher Gattelli's Newsies choreography. With big dance numbers including “Seize the Day,” “King of New York” and “The World Will Know,” Shum, Jr. would be the perfect “Glee” star to carry the banner to Broadway.
Naya Rivera (Santana Lopez): With Rivera's diva quality, it only makes sense for the "Glee" star to eventually take over the role of Mimi in the Off-Broadway revival of Rent at New World Stages. Rivera, who made a splash as Anita in McKinley's production of West Side Story, would be ideal for Ms. Marquez. Also, Rivera's heartfelt cover of "Songbird" could serve as a preview of what she would bring to the table in "Without You." While we're at it, how about Amber Riley for Joanne Jefferson? Who could forget her "Take Me or Leave Me" performance with Michele?
Chord Overstreet (Sam Evans): Jennifer Damiano and T.V. Carpio have left the Broadway production of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. If Reeve Carney, who stars as the production’s leading man, decides to depart the show as well, Overstreet would be the perfect boy to “Bounce Off the Walls” and suit up for a high-flying trip around the Foxwoods as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Overstreet, who has demonstrated his pop-star qualities with Bruno Mars’ “Billionaire” and Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” could be the next rocker to headline the show—after all, his character this season on “Glee” is only scheduled for a multi-episode arc.
Heather Morris (Brittany S. Pierce): The role of Roxie Hart has been played by a list of celebrities and, recently, by former "American Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi. Morris, who has not only proven herself to be McKinley High’s best dancer, also showed off her vocal abilities in last season’s Britney Spears-themed episode, and would likely be a welcome addition on Murderess Row in the long-running hit Chicago. She can sing, she can dance, and she's got just the right amount of Roxie Hart sex appeal!
Kevin McHale (Artie Abrams): McHale, who takes the rock vocals during the "Glee" musical numbers, would fit right into Broadway's Rock of Ages. Although playing the part of Franz may be a bit of a challenge, McHale looks the part and could sing the score with ease. Also, he'd finally be able to show off a bit of his dance skills—no more wheelchair for Artie Abrams!
Jane Lynch (Sue Sylvester): Although the producers for the Broadway-bound revival of Annie held open auditions for the "Little Girls" of the Municipal Girls Orphanage, they need look no further than Lynch for their Miss Hannigan. With all the screaming and scheming that Sue Sylvester does over at McKinley High, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch for her to plot against Annie and her gang of orphans in 1930s NYC. Also, her recent commercial—which aired during the Dec. 13 "Glee" episode—featured Lynch bursting into a Nook-inspired musical number in Barnes and Noble. Clearly, she has the vocal chops!
Matthew Morrison (Will Schuester): Morrison has already proven himself on Broadway in such musicals as Footloose, Hairspray, The Light in the Piazza and South Pacific. We think it's time Morrison struts his stuff solo. If Hugh Jackman can send audiences into a frenzy, why not Mr. Schuester?
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