Josh Groban finally got to live his Phantom of the Opera dreams. Earlier this year, the Sweeney Todd star told Playbill that one of his musical theatre dreams was to be in Phantom. And on April 3 at the Hammerstein Ballroom, he got his wish, sort of. Except instead of Groban donning that iconic half mask, it was his Sweeney Todd co-star Annaleigh Ashford.
But wait, you may wonder, isn't the Phantom usually a man? Not so at Miscast, MCC Theater's annual gala, where Broadway stars gather to raise money for the esteemed Off-Broadway theater and to sing songs they would never be able to sing on stage. That's because the theme of Miscast is stars singing songs belonging to characters they would never play. So it was the only place you could see Ashford proclaim to Groban, "Sing, my angel of music!" And readers, he sure did....
Groban wasn't the only one. The night was filled with surprises, including last-minute cast changes. Jordan Donica (currently making audience members swoon in Camelot) had to cancel at the last minute due to illness, and so Little Shop of Horrors' newest Audrey Joy Woods was asked to fill in just a few hours before the show began. But she took it in strides, telling the audience that she would be performing, "As Jordan Donica as Eliza Doolittle," from My Fair Lady. The meta elements of her "I Could've Danced All Night/Wouldn't It Be Loverly" mashup had the room howling.
The other performers in Miscast included Jordan E. Cooper (Ain't No Mo'), Lorna Courtney (& Juliet), Jose Llana (Here Lies Love), LaChanze (Trouble in Mind), Bonnie Milligan (Kimberly Akimbo), Dylan Mulvaney, Ben Platt (Parade), Eleri Ward, NaTasha Yvette Williams (Some Like It Hot), and Rachel Zegler (West Side Story).
Funds raised from Miscast23 supports its Youth Company and in-school partnerships that serve New York City public high school students, as well as MCC’s literary development work with emerging playwrights and it's Off-Broadway season.
In addition to the live performance, MCC is partnering with The League of Live Stream Theater to broadcast Miscast23 April 10 at 7 PM ET. Following the premiere, the broadcast will be available to view on-demand until April 16.
But while you're waiting for the videos from the evening, scroll down to see Playbill's exclusive photos of the night's performances, such as below, where Ben Platt took a break from tearing the house down in Parade to tear down the Hammerstein Ballroom with his rendition of "The Wizard and I" from Wicked.
Miscast honored Vanessa Williams (POTUS), and Jose Llana pushed everyone's nostalgia buttons by singing "Colors of the Wind" from Pocahontas.
Jordan E. Cooper made the room shake with his rendition of "The Ladies Who Lunch" from Company.
LaChanze made us fall in love with Judas all over again with her version of "Heaven on Their Minds" from Jesus Christ Superstar.
Bonnie Milligan proved she "can can can" bring the house down by belting both parts of "Crazy Rolling" from Moulin Rouge (which in itself is a mashup of the pop songs "Crazy" and "Rolling in the Deep").
The rest of the set list from Miscast can be found here.
See the rest of the Playbill's photos from Miscast below. And be sure to tune in April 10 for the livestream.