It was announced Jan. 31 that TV star Roseanne will play the Wicked Witch of the West in a New York stage adaptation of the film musical The Wizard of Oz. None of the rest of the cast has been announced. For fun, play casting director and pick a cast of well-known actors you would like to see complement Roseanne in the other roles: Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, the Great and Powerful Oz, Glinda the Good Witch of the North, et al.
E-mail your cast suggestions to Playbill On-Line Managing Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Answers will be posted daily as they come in.
Here are the results so far. Playbill On-Line thanks all those who took the time to write:
From Marsha Bradbury:
Dorothy - Emily Lund, an unknown, newcomer with a great voice and she's from Utah so Rosanne will already have a built-in animosity!
Glinda - Dan Conners (It would really be worth the price of admission!)
Scarecrow - Carol Burnett
Tinman - Glenn Close
Lion - Bernadette Peters (hows that for alternative casting!)
I thought of some actors and actresses that would be good so here they are . . .
Scarecrow: Howard McGillin
Lion: Nathan Lane (duh)
Glinda: Julie Andrews or Betty Buckley
The Wizard: George Hearn
Toto: Eddie from "Frasier"
Wicked Witch: Carol Burnett ( She would be hysterical)
Before I announce my cast, I am playing the Cowardly Lion in the March 13-14-15 production of "The Wizard Of Oz" at East Allegheny High School in Pittsburgh, PA. . . .
DOROTHY - Christiane Noll (currently touring as Sandy in GREASE)
LION - Nathan Lane
SCARECROW - Jason Opsahl
Dorothy: Kerry Butler [she's awesome]
Scarecrow: Daniel Jenkins [he's just the right man for the job...]
Tin Man: Ben Wright
Lion : Who else? Nathan Lane
Glinda: Faith Prince! If she can play Anna...
Wiz of Oz: George Hearn
Auntie Em: Eleanor Glockner
Uncle Henry: John Davidson
The Munchkins: The Big kids. [They're trained!] (2/5/97)
Julie Andrews as Glinda is perfection (also an impossibility). In the event she won't leave V/V, why not the outrageously beautiful Colleen Dunn (now playing Grace in the pre-B'way Annie)?
Daisy Eagan as Dorothy is a good if bland choice. Why not cast an unknown and really make it exciting?
Robert Morse as the Cowardly Lion - well, it would be kind of frightening, don't you think? Ernie Sabella would also be nice in this role.
Philip Bosco is a great idea for the Wizard.
I like Ms. Stritch as Aunt Em - and who cares about Uncle Henry?
Now, as the Scarecrow, I see talented John Bolton - of Damn Yankess, H2$, and now Titanic fame. There is no actor more perfect for this role.
As for the Tin Man - I have absolutely no idea...Would anyone WANT to play this role?
Dorothy - Daphne Rubin-Vegas (a raw talent)
Scarecrow - Martin Short (can you imagine Ed Grimley made out of straw?)
Tinman - Savion Glover (a tin hoofer)
Lion - Nathan Lane (who else?)
The Wizard - Whoopi Goldberg (whacky enough)
Glinda - Carol Kane or Bernadette Peters (too close to call)
Aunt Em - Beth Fowler (I'm a little teapot...)
Uncle Henry - John Davidson (was very good in State Fair)
Staying with the TV theme...
Scarecrow: Charles Kimbrough ("Murphy Brown")
Tin Man: Tim Allen
Lion: Jason Alexander
Wizard: Harry Anderson
Glinda: Lisa Kudrow
Toto: Murray ("Mad About You")
From Steven A. Kloose (Fresno, CA):
Dorothy - Audra McDonald - The most clear and beautiful voice on the theatre scene to day and the most obvious choice for "alternative casting".
Glenda - Glenn Close. She's been playing those aweful villans lately, i.e. Cruela and Norma. I think she needs a reprive.
The Lion - Nathan Lane - Hands down the best lion since the original. And I think he could "dish" out the one liners as fast and as clever as Rosanne.
The Tin Man - Alan Campbell (Sunset Blvd.) Just the opportunity to see him wearing something matalic would be worth the price of admission.
The Scarecrow - Whoopie Goldberg. Another "alternative casting" choice, I know, but it would allow us to see if she has any reall stage presence next to Nathan Lane.
The Wizard - Patrick Stuart. They wouldn't have to alter his voice to give him a big booming sound. And being English would give the show credibility.
All Munchkins - the Cast of "Cats". In an alternative sub-plot, the cats can ask the Wiz for a REAL show.
Scott Wise as the scarecrow
Terrence Mann as the tin man
Ernie Sabella as the lion
Dorothy: Susan Moniz (Amazing soaring voice!)
Scarecrow: Jim Walton (Sweet voice, great dancer)
Tinman: Savion Glover (Tap dancing his great big heart out!)
Lion: Nathan Lane (Reprising his "in Concert" performance)
Glinda: Julie Andrews (So she can come to Dorothy's aid when Dorothy is egregiously overlooked..."I don't think there's anything in that black bag for me!")
Wizard: Tony Randall (If ever oh ever a wiz there was!)
Aunt Em: Elaine Stritch (I would love to hear her tell off Miss Gulch!)
From John Abernathy:
OK..here are my serious casting choices for OZ with Rosanne-(And hey more power to them for casting her..she may get a HUGE television audience draw!!)
Dorothy How about Daisy Eagan [of The Secret Garden]?? She should be just about the right age now.
The Scarecrow-Jim Walton
The Tin Man-Howard McGillian
The Lion-Nathan Lane
The Wizard-Phillip Bosco
And of course...this out-of-work actor would always take an Equity Chorus Contract!!
We want a happy cast so let's stick to people with whom Roseanne can feel comfortable. For Dorothy, who else but America's sweetheart, Madonna. She could carry the music and is riding high after her success in Evita. The scarecrow would have to be Dennis Rodman from the Chicago Bulls. He could change his hair color for each performance, and could also comfortably sing "If I Only Had a Brain." Sandra Bernhart would have to be the Tin Man or Tin Woman. She's cold as steel and could surely use a little heart. Who better to play the Cowardly Lion than Roseanne's cowardly TV husband, John Goodman? He is truly the most talented of this motley crew and could bring some stability to the cast. As for Glinda, the Good Witch, imagine Rosie O'Donnell and her "Betty Rubble" laugh in the role. It's a natural. This would certainly be a production to remember, maybe not a great show, but what memories.
From Gary Dooley:
There must be something in it for Ben Vereen.... at least until the next Xmas Carol. . .