There may be zero (or less than zero) chance of this happening but we were thinking of possible musicals that NBC could do next year, having heard rumors that it could be “Fiddler on the Roof” we decided to think of things that had the potential to be better than that… this is what we came up with (aside from the many beloved musicals that would do wonderfully):
NBC should do “Bombshell” the Marilyn Monroe musical from SMASH! This seems plausible enough because SMASH was an NBC show and since it’s cancellation more people have discovered it and there is still a loyal legion of fans who loved the show when it was on who would watch the broadcast and buy the merchandise that is sure to follow its airing (CDs, a Score or script of the show, even playbills especially made for it could be made and sold, etc.). Now we dream big, so we took this a step farther as to what we think NBC could do with its resources to make the show a success.
They could have it broadcast two nights and it could be live both times each time with a different Marilyn (if they stuck with the idea from the show that Katherine and Megan are battling it out for the role) or they could have the American people vote for who should be Marilyn or cast someone who is quintessentially Marilyn and is super famous (although, let’s not try Uma Thurman again). But the possibilities are there.
They could cast a mixture (based on availability and willingness to perform) of people from Smash and also other Broadway performers or well-known actors who can sing AND act. So that from these names a large number of people will tune in anyway just to see them.
When they do the “Behind the Scenes” video for the live production it could be a scripted episode of the show Smash about the process of the show (wholly depending on whether or not a lot of people from the show are a part of the live performance) or it could be as it was this year with just a look at how the production is being put together, etc. OR both could be made and both be made extras on the DVD that will inevitably be produced.
This is where it really takes a turn down the “never gonna happen road” but if there is a large audience for the show, as there was for “The Sound of Music Live” this year with 18.5 million viewers upon first broadcast, then they could take it to Broadway or off-Broadway and postpone the DVD release. As I type this I realize how far-fetched it sounds but a musical about Marilyn Monroe has the potential to do well own (but again this is the farthest stretch).
Also, it would become much easier to bring the show back to NBC and get higher ratings this time. Or, it could be picked up by Netflix (Amazon Prime or Hulu plus) as an original series, in the same way that Arrested Development was continued.
To Be More Realistic
There does seem to be a smaller pool, than most of us originally thought, of musicals they could/would do though when thinking about the beloved classics. They wouldn’t do anything that is currently on Broadway (or that just closed). They have already done a film of The Wiz, so they wouldn’t do that or “The Wizard of Oz”. Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella was done live with Julie Andrews and would still be running or recently closed on Broadway so they wouldn’t do that. In December 2014, both the new “Annie” film and “Into the Woods” are coming out on Christmas Day so they are off the table. “Phantom of the Opera” feels far too overdone to be done live in this manner.
Here are playbill.com’s suggestions for next year’s production.
Many of them are reaching in terms of the reality of casting such successful actors in some cases and some people I wouldn’t cast in a theatrical role of this nature, but they have my vote for “My Fair Lady” with Anna Kendrick (although since “The Last Five Years” AND “Into The Woods” movies will come out in 2014 it would probably seem like an Anna overload…). It should also be kept in mind that some of these musicals are not well known to the greater public. Plus, many of the actors listed in this article are either too busy to fit the performance into their schedules or aren’t talented enough (musically) to take on the role.
So what do you think would be a good (and plausible) musical to do next year, and who would you dream cast?