#MusicalTube: 4 Favorite Miscast Performances
Ah, the “miscast” cabaret. Over the last few years, performers have been challenging the ideas of gender in musical theatre and singing songs that were originally written for another gender. Whether it’s a woman who always wanted to play Billy Bigelow in Carousel or a man who longs to portray Rose in Dogfight, in a miscast showcase or cabaret they might finally get that chance! With that in mind, I wanted to share some of my favorite “miscast” performances:
1. Katie Thompson – “Leave, Luanne” from 35mm
Let it be known that I ADORE Katie Thompson. There’s this beautiful earthiness to her voice and her presence that I’ve loved since I discovered her on the cast recording for Giant. My favorite performance of hers is this one, where she sings “Leave, Luanne” by NMT writer Ryan Scott Oliver at 54 Below. On the cast recording, this song is sung by Jay Armstrong Johnson, but having this song about a woman in an abusive relationship be sung by a woman adds a haunting quality.
2. Tituss Burgess – “And I Am Telling You” from Dreamgirls
Tituss Burgess had a fantastic 2015 with Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix and an Emmy nomination, but here he is in element singing some Dreamgirls. Tituss has a pretty endless vocal range and his performance is heartbreaking as Effie (err, Tituss) clings on to love. What really draws me in is watching him try not to break down, which as an audience just makes me have to work harder to not break!
3. Rachel Bay Jones and Uzo Aduba – “Lily’s Eyes” from The Secret Garden
The Wiz Live made the general public aware of Uzo Aduba’s musical theatre background, and Rachel Bay Jones made a splash on Broadway in Pippin a few seasons back. The Secret Garden is one of the most underrated musicals out there, and their magnetic energies and strong voices bring this beautiful duet between brothers to life.
4. Sierra Boggess as Britney Spears – “Think of Me” from Phantom of the Opera
Sierra Boggess is enough, she is SO enough, it’s unbelievable how ENOUGH this is! You can tell that she is having fun performing a song that she has performed so many times before and putting quite the twist on it. As an avid Britney Spears fan, I can attest that some of Sierra’s vocal inflections are very …Baby One More Time-era. (If this isn’t your thing, then watch Sierra sing “Think of Me” in the Phantom 25th anniversary concert and then watch some classic Britney performances!)
BONUS: Patti LuPone – “A Boy Like That” from West Side Story
Okay, so this isn’t the most far-fetched miscasting, but Patti admits in this performance that she isn’t right for the roles. Plus, I guess it’s miscast to have her play both Maria and Anita at the same time. Either way, I just adore this video as much as I love Patti herself. Now here’s the real question: how much would you pay Patti LuPone to perform all of West Side Story a la Cher?
What are your favorite “Miscast” performances on YouTube?
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