I know many people think Bette Midler would be great in the role and I can imagine her in it, but at 69 she’s a bit too old for the role of the young widow. Of course I’m one of those guys who love the movie version and I think no one can be better than Barbra Streisand, but I believe there are better options for the role, all in their forties. My chosen one would be Marin Mazzie; I think she can be great in the role and get the stardom she deserves. Faith Prince seems perfect for the role and it could put her back at the top. My finally choice, Victoria Clark, who I think would make a very interesting and motherly Dolly.
Besides finding the right star, I strongly think that they shouldn’t try to recreate the original. I confess I saw a bootleg video of a production with Carol and, although she was perfect, the show seemed dated. I doubt today’s audiences would enjoy the static staging of Gower Champion. The musicals weren’t exciting and I’m not talking about having the dancers doing acrobatic steps like in the movie, but for example the “Put on Your Sunday Clothes” number was near boredom and I simply love that song.
I read that Warren Carlyle is attached as director-choreographer and since I don’t know his work, I can’t say if he is the right guy to helm it. If I were the producer I would hire Susan Stroman or Casey Nicholaw; I’m sure both of them could bring new life and excitement to this great musical. I just hope Jerry Herman will allow changes to be made.
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