Producers of the Broadway musical Victor/Victoria announced it would embark on a U.S. national tour in 1997, but would not say whether star Julie Andrews would repeat her Broadway performance as Victoria Grant -- a penniless singer who pretends she's a male drag artist to get work.
Playbill On-Line asked members to name another performer who might play the role in her place.
Here are selections from the results:
From Walt Mcgrath, NYC:
Vanessa Williams would be wonderful . . . don't say why, say why not!!! Never ever say Kathie Lee, "I don't run sweatshops", Gifford. And maybe the original Norma Cassidy. . . the under-used Lesley Ann Warren . . . after all she did fill Julie's shoes nicely in Cinderella a few years ago.
From Len Rusay:
Well, there's Bernadette Peters (who could actually sing the role) and Patti LuPone. Forget Kathie Lee Gifford (prima donna without a voice or real acting ability - unless you consider her weekday activities). One other possbility - Bebe Neuwirth. From kad3:
Anything Julie can do, CHITA RIVERA could do better!
I think the best choice would be Maureen McGovern. She's got the look, the pipes and the acting ability. Since Julie can't really sing it anyway, Maureen would probably be much better than she was.
From Walter Thinnes:
May be two odd (and different) choices but my off-the-cuff preferences would be Donna Murphy or Paige O'Hara. Each would certainly bring something different to the roles but not a true celebrity name. If Blake is smart he will talk Bernadette Peters into the role. If Bernadette is smart, she'll grab it. Anyway you look at it there is no replacing Ms. Andrews!
How about Donna Murphy? Since she got Julie's Tony, anyway. How about Nathan Lane, or better yet Harvey Fierstein!! It would be great publicity.
From Barbara Bergeron:
My nominee: Charles Busch.
Ok, he's not a soprano, but his alto served him nicely in Swingtime Canteen. And as you reported in April, Blake Edwards has made other changes in the show since it opened. A few text changes, some musical transposition, and Charles would be home free.
Advantages: a real understanding of what a drag queen is/does. And imagine this: a MAN playing a WOMAN playing a MAN playing a WOMAN!!! Even Lewis Carroll couldn't beat that!
And the piece de resistance: Oh, those gams!
From Brian Pier:
RuPaul would make an interesting and ironic replacement for Julie Andrews in Victor/Victoria. The ads could read "A woman playing a man playing a woman - PLAYED BY A MAN!". RuPaul would also require other leads be cast by tall actors/actresses. Maybe Tommy Tune as Victoria's love interest?!?!?!
From Jackson Bloom:
I think Annie Lennox would be a great replacement, and I really don't think any explanation is necessary.
From Steven Leifer:
I know I am being influenced by the fact that I just saw Sunset Boulevard last night, but Betty Buckley. Maybe not with the same light soprano voice, but with a comparable range. With the right short hair style, she has a chameleon face that would work both ways. This could work!
From Jeff Adams:
The only obvious choice to replace Julie Andrews is Betty Buckley since she's already done the woman/man role changing in Drood.
From: Gary Dooley:
Rebecca Luker -- she's the closest thing to Julie Andrews we have working today.
Sandy Duncan -- she should be in a big B'way musical where she belongs.
Twiggy -- it's been too long since MY ONE AND ONLY.
From: Josh Israel:
I think that the role could easily be performed by Bebe Neuworth, possibly be portrayed by Glenn Close, and also could be done by Sarah Brightman.
From David Lober:
My suggestions would be Liza Minelli, Twiggy or Sandy Duncan. They have a lot of the same qualities that the character calls for and they are very good singers and dancers. How about Tracy Ulman?
From Brad Baker:
Choice #1: Madonna
Choice #2: RuPaul
Choice #3: Michael Jackson
From Jim DesRocher:
Bernadette Peters, Glenn Close, or Betty Buckley [YES!!!]
The Victor/Victoria tour will never happen unless Julie decides to to tour with it. She is the whole show. While Rachel York and cast are superb and there are a lot of good things going for it, it needs a star of Julie's magnitude and there ain't any. Anyone can do a road tour of an Andrew Dice Clay musical because people will go to his tuff but not VICTOR/V. This could be the last star vehicle ever to be mounted since Julie is the last of the breed. Perhaps . . . she won't feel obligated to nurse [Blake Edwards'] ego and will do LADY IN THE DARK instead. I liked VICTOR/V a lot. Felt it had everything but a score but the magical presence of Julie made up for no score. I hope she does a lot more before she packs it in. Maybe even a play. She can do anything.