Unusual Way: DeGarmo Was Effie and d'Arcy James Was Eponine Among Mismatches in Miscast

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15 Mar 2006

Diana DeGarmo as Dreamgirls's Effie? Brian d'Arcy James as Les Misérables' Eponine? Deborah Gibson and Eden Espinosa as Grease's Sandy and Danny?

Those were just some of the out-of-character casting of the stars for MCC Theatre's Miscast benefit March at the Hammerstein Ballroom. Phil Reno (The Drowsy Chaperone) served as musical director for the evening.

As usual (or unusual), Miscast features Broadway performers singing popular Broadway show tunes — for roles in which they would never be cast. This year's celebs included Assassins co-stars Mario Cantone (Laugh Whore) and Michael Cerveris (Sweeney Todd), "American Idol" diva Diana DeGarmo (Hairspray), Eden Espinosa (Wicked, Brooklyn), Felicia Fields (The Color Purple), Ana Gasteyer (The Threepenny Opera), Deborah Gibson (Cabaret), Brian d'Arcy James (The Sweet Smell of Success), Matthew Morrison (Hairspray) and cast members of Broadway's upcoming musical The Wedding Singer.

Among the featured mismatched performances were:

 



  • Diana DeGarmo belting "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" from Dreamgirls (Note: Her fellow "Idol" competitor, Jennifer Hudson, takes on the song and role for the upcoming film version.)
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  • Upcoming Mrs. Peachum in Threepenny Opera Ana Gasteyer serenaded "Johanna" from Sweeney Todd
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  • Broadway's current Sweeney Todd Michael Cerveris tackled Nine muse Claudia's "Unusual Way" in an unusual way and also sang "The Miller's Son" from A Little Night Music
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  • The Color Purple star Felicia P. Fields swooned in The Sound of Music's "Sixteen Going On Seventeen" with help from Hairspray's Matthew Morrison
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  • The recent The Light in the Piazza star Morrison took on Titanic's love duet "Still" himself
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  • Morrison also joined The Lieutenant of Inishmore star Brian d'Arcy James for City of Angels' dual-identity song "You Can Always Count On Me"
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  • James also cast himself way against type with "On My Own," the young Eponine's number from Les Misérables
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  • "Sex and the City" vet Mario Cantone tried his hand at "Chief Cook and Bottle Washer" (originally sung on Broadway by Chita Rivera) from The Rink
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  • Pop singer-turned-Broadway diva Deborah Gibson rocked out on Rent's "One Song Glory"
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  • Broadway belter Eden Espinosa took on the brash male gameboarder of Chess with "Pity the Child"
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  • The two (Gibson and Espinosa) also teamed on the Grease lead duet "You're The One That I Want"

    The evening, which honored producer Carole Shorenstein Hays, was supported in part by Kenneth Cole New York. Proceeds from the benefit go toward MCC's programs.

    For more information on MCC, visit www.mcctheater.com.