Be still my 13 year-old girl heart (and you know I have one, freshly spritzed with Loves Baby Soft ).
The hit revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying has announced the next Prom King in their line of succession. Following the January abdication of the snoggable Daniel Radcliffe and the interregnum rule of Glee’s Darren Criss (January 3-22), the leading role will be played by Nick Jonas, of the Disney fave Jonas Brothers and the “yes, he’s legal” tight t-shirt.
Now, before you rain on this pomaded parade, Nick comes to the job with serious Broadway credits, having even played Gavroche in Les Miserables as a kid. And Radcliffe has acquitted himself nicely, endearing himself to the theater community by being a hard worker and a charming supporter of all things Broadway.
Besides, Broadway has a long and storied history of replacement casting via the pages of Tiger Beat. There’s something undying about our first celebrity crushes that will make us follow them anywhere and producers are smart to capitalize on that ardor. Perhaps it’s because the love is so pure, so unencumbered by adult concerns that their presence takes us back to a more innocent part of ourselves — a place like the fantasy world of a Broadway musical that is as shiny and candy-colored as a new Trapper Keeper. So no matter in which decade you came of age, there’s a teen idol for you who has made it to the Great White Way. Let’s look at just a few…
Ricky Martin: For you 90’s teens, in 1996, a post-General Hospital/Menudo, pre-Vida Loca Martin climbed the barricade as the romantic lead Marius in Les Miserables. There’s not much bonbon shaking in the show but there is lots of long, lustrous hair. (And never fear, Martin is scheduled to return to the stage this season in a new production of Evita as Che. Does he have a thing for revolutionaries or what?)
John Stamos: Hmmm, is there a pattern here? General Hospital? Great hair? No, it’s that How to Succeed is the Rosetta Stone of teen heartthrob shows. The Matthew Broderick helmed 1995 revival welcomed 80’s cutie and Uncle Jesse himself as the replacement “Finch”. But that’s not all. The national tour of this production kept young girls packing theaters (to learn about corporate politics and snappy dressing) with the one and only Karate Kid, Ralph Macchio.
Shaun and David Cassidy: Double your dating dreams with two, count ’em, two 70’s heartthrobs. The half-brothers (famous for The Hardy Boys and The Partridge Family) became Blood Brothers on Broadway and, you know what, they sound kind of awesome. I think I love them.
What’s your favorite Tiger Beat casting?