theTHEATREaddict with another theatre related post: The executives at NBC are breathing a huge sigh of relief that their reality debacle, Grease, You’re The One That We Want, has one last gasp of air next week before being put out of its misery. NBC stopped promos for the show and reporting ratings for it.
For “professional” reasons I stuck with it. Conceptually it was exciting but in practice the show was pretty much a dud. What’s fascinating is the Brits have 3 or 4 reality shows running or in production to cast leading roles for West End stages but the concept was either bungled or just couldn’t work in North America. I like to think it was bungled via lame casting, poor camera shooting, Jim Jacobs and Billy Bush. Everything about the show lacked excitement. So it was bizarre to find myself going on-line to vote for the ones that I want.
I voted for Max and Laura. TV is such a different medium than theatre. TV is intimate and in theatre you have to play to a large auditorium. Max and Laura have been so compelling in every respect, mostly because they come across as great actors on TV, meaning they come across as real people. They successfully made connections via the small screen. Does that mean they will do well on stage? Don’t know, but at the very least they prove once again that some times the public likes to select people that are most like them, regular. The same can’t be said for Austin. Yes the guy comes across as all theatre, a song and dance guy, but it doesn’t work on TV. It is contrite, scripted and completely insincere. It is a type of performance that gives musical theatre a bad rep. Everything he did, every move, every speech, seemed phony and irritating. I am sure that was not his goal but he never found a way to connect via TV. It is so ironic that Max and Austin are squaring off for the role of Danny. So very different. Laura and Ashley could both suitably play Sandy. Never in a million years would anybody in the theatre world have cast Max as Danny. I like the fact that his casting could become a reality and a big reason to see what would become a very unique production of a show that has changed little in the last thirty-five years.