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Broadway Replacement Flop Era?

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quizking101
#1Broadway Replacement Flop Era?
Posted: 2/10/24 at 4:53pm

With the preliminary negative reviews of Aaron and Sutton, the tepid response to Lola Tung, and the savage backlash about Boy George, are we in the middle of a replacement casting flop era?

When was the last time we had this many replacement castings get at best tepid and, at worst, vitriolic reviews?


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Theatrefanboy1
#2Broadway Replacement Flop Era?
Posted: 2/10/24 at 6:04pm

I would think so. I would have thought a casting of Bernadette and norm or lea Salonga and Hugh panaro would serve far better.  
I believe that so many productions recognize the need for name recognition to sell a show. But I don’t know what it is in the casting department that has served up so many meh results

ErmengardeStopSniveling Profile Photo
ErmengardeStopSniveling
#3Broadway Replacement Flop Era?
Posted: 2/10/24 at 6:27pm

Replacement casting on a whole certainly isn't in its "flop era." Is the OP just trying to get a rise out of people?

We just had one of the most successful replacements (creatively & financially) in the modern history of Broadway in the form of Lea Michele in FUNNY GIRL.

To use the three shows you've cited... HADESTOWN has been largely successful in its replacements (Betty Who, Solea, Boykin). Jojo and Tituss and the non-famous folks were, by all accounts, good in MOULIN ROUGE. Joe Locke in SWEENEY is much better than Gaten (imho).

Beyond that, CHICAGO just had one of its best weeks ever due to replacement stunt-casting. Roundabout has, on paper, an exceptional replacement for DOUBT (Amy Ryan). And plenty of other shows have continued to survive based on no-name replacement casting (WICKED, MORMON, DOUBT, HAMILTON, etc).

Updated On: 2/10/24 at 06:27 PM

quizking101 Profile Photo
quizking101
#4Broadway Replacement Flop Era?
Posted: 2/10/24 at 7:04pm

ErmengardeStopSniveling said: "Replacement casting on a whole certainly isn't in its "flop era." Is the OP just trying to get a rise out of people?

Certainly not intentionally. But I just can't for the life of me recall when so many shows have had replacements that have earned such vocal disdain from the theatregoing public.

I'm moreso just looking at the collective since, normally I see one show having a bad casting spell (usually CHICAGO) at a time, but never three different shows.


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HogansHero
#5Broadway Replacement Flop Era?
Posted: 2/10/24 at 7:11pm

It should also be noted that the "era" to which the OP is referring is not even 24 hours old at this point. And the "reviews" on which its premise is based consists of a smattering of comments by a demographic that includes those who enjoy going (or saying they did) to first performances for the purpose of finding fault. While I believe that casting Mr. O'Dowd is an embarrassment of which the production should rightfully be ashamed, I think Sutton and Aaron and the others deserve enough time to find their footing. Yeesh.

lopside
#6Broadway Replacement Flop Era?
Posted: 2/10/24 at 7:22pm

Theatregoing public and twitter and not the same thing. Broadway stans / "MT" people are not representative of the level of engagement general audiences have with theater. People are just hoping for a good night out, maybe see some stars perform up close.

Moroever, this "outcry" is based on pre-conceived notions that people think have been vindicated because they heard 30 secs of something devoid of any visuals on the very first night. There has not been a single performer I can name who did not grow into their roles as their run goes on. 

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CATSNYrevival
#7Broadway Replacement Flop Era?
Posted: 2/10/24 at 7:35pm

The hate for Aaron and Sutton is largely based on a few short clips. The full audio is much better and they will improve as they work out the kinks and settle into the roles. I think I even prefer their pairing over Josh and Annaleigh.

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binau
#8Broadway Replacement Flop Era?
Posted: 2/10/24 at 7:41pm

I think this must be one of the most unfair and quickest write offs I’ve ever seen based on tenuous evidence (Sutton and Aaron). It’s very clear listening to wider evidence that they literally exposed Sutton’s worst momentary flaws in a short clip and she sounds much better/as you’d more normally expect in other points.
 

Aaron fared better in his leaked clip but the fact he went the octave up in epiphany (as others have in the past too!) is feeding into the confirmation bias that his voice is too high for the role yet we don’t hear his gorgeous vocals in No Place Like London or My Friends or Pretty Woman for example. And he really sounds like he is acting and getting lost in the role in a way I don’t know if we have seen him before (see: the full Epiphany). 
 

Bootlegs are important historical records but this was downright irresponsible. 


"You can't overrate Bernadette Peters. She is such a genius. There's a moment in "Too Many Mornings" and Bernadette doing 'I wore green the last time' - It's a voice that is just already given up - it is so sorrowful. Tragic. You can see from that moment the show is going to be headed into such dark territory and it hinges on this tiny throwaway moment of the voice." - Ben Brantley (2022) "Bernadette's whole, stunning performance [as Rose in Gypsy] galvanized the actors capable of letting loose with her. Bernadette's Rose did take its rightful place, but too late, and unseen by too many who should have seen it" Arthur Laurents (2009) "Sondheim's own favorite star performances? [Bernadette] Peters in ''Sunday in the Park,'' Lansbury in ''Sweeney Todd'' and ''obviously, Ethel was thrilling in 'Gypsy.'' Nytimes, 2000
Updated On: 2/10/24 at 07:41 PM

Kad Profile Photo
Kad
#9Broadway Replacement Flop Era?
Posted: 2/10/24 at 10:06pm

Yeah, I would argue that Broadway replacements have actually been generally quite strong over the last year or two. They can’t all be winners, naturally, but a handful of weaker choices who happened to take the stage in the course of a few days certainly doesn’t herald an era. 


"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."

Wayman_Wong
#10Broadway Replacement Flop Era?
Posted: 2/10/24 at 11:18pm

'' I just can't for the life of me recall when so many shows have had replacements that have earned such vocal disdain from the theatregoing public.''

''So many shows?'' Because Tveit and Foster just did their first ''Sweeney'' preview the previous night? And Boy George just started a few days ago? (For the record, a friend of mine went his 1st performance, and loved it so much that she's already planning to return for him ... and Derek Klena.)

Since when do a handful of online posters, many of whom haven't even seen the actual shows, and are only prejudging entire performances based on a few moments of audio/video, considered ''the theatergoing public''? Is it too much to give the replacements a little time to step into their new roles, instead of instantly trashing them? Geez!

Updated On: 2/10/24 at 11:18 PM

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Robbie2
#11Broadway Replacement Flop Era?
Posted: 2/11/24 at 12:33am

We were discussing this with friends at dinner as the convo came up and just don't get why is everyone so critical after the 1st preview of a performance by a replacement or? Then the kids generation of social media madness surfaced: 

I read these nasty hate filled posts on reddit from these juveniles-teens to 20's. What's with the alpha-gen z generation and do we really care what they have to say? No-We don't! They are so obsessed with social media and it's so sad , laughable yet scary what they write.

 

 


"Anything you do, let it it come from you--then it will be new." Sunday in the Park with George

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dramamama611
#12Broadway Replacement Flop Era?
Posted: 2/11/24 at 7:07am

The sky is falling! The sky is falling! 


If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.

Broadway61004
#13Broadway Replacement Flop Era?
Posted: 2/11/24 at 9:12am

Wayman_Wong said: "'' Is it too much to give the replacements a little time to step into their new roles, instead of instantly trashing them?Geez!"

Are they charging half price for those first few performances while they "step into their roles?" Don't get me wrong, I fully expect them to improve as they get more comfortable with it, and yes, I understand it takes time. But if you're paying full price for a Broadway show and the performers sound awful, I don't care if it's their first or hundredth performance: you have every right to criticize and write that they were terrible when you saw them.

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Wick3
#14Broadway Replacement Flop Era?
Posted: 2/11/24 at 9:59am

When there are Broadway replacements, do they have an invited dress rehearsal the day before (similar to those before first preview)?

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dramamama611
#15Broadway Replacement Flop Era?
Posted: 2/11/24 at 10:03am

Nope.

 

No one is saying they can't be criticized, but to judge their entire worth in the role on any one performance (those that haven't seen them) is over the top.  Also, much of this thread is addressing the ops statement... That we're in an era of awful replacements 


If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.

Kad Profile Photo
Kad
#16Broadway Replacement Flop Era?
Posted: 2/11/24 at 10:12am

I do agree that either replacements should get more rehearsal time or tickets should be lower priced, but let’s face it- both cost money that producers are loathe to lose.

Original casts these days often have a ton of time to develop their performances- not just through longer rehearsal times, but also through previous production incarnations or just readings and workshops and labs spanning the course of months (even for many modern revivals, Sweeney included). Replacements get thrown to the wolves with a few put-in rehearsals. 
 

It’s almost a vestige from decades ago when performers on Broadway often came up through demanding touring companies or summer stock and repertory theaters, where they’d be rehearsing one show for two weeks while performing another and then put it up. But that’s not really the case anymore and it’s certainly not the case for the majority of replacement performers. 


"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
Updated On: 2/11/24 at 10:12 AM

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BroadwayNYC2
#17Broadway Replacement Flop Era?
Posted: 2/11/24 at 10:57am

There’s a certain subset of extremely online people that trap themselves in a bubble when it comes these conversations (and well, most issues). I can assure you the average theatre goer, casual Broadway fan, or die hards are not remotely affected by this absolutely-untrue “flop era” 

Hairspray0901
#18Broadway Replacement Flop Era?
Posted: 2/11/24 at 12:37pm

I still can’t believe the hate and disrespect Sutton and Aaron are getting across social media. She’s a Broadway triple threat with TWO Tony wins; She’s not a nobody they pulled off the street. They are some of the highest profile replacements Broadway has seen in some time and I hope to get to see them in these roles. 

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Call_me_jorge
#19Broadway Replacement Flop Era?
Posted: 2/11/24 at 1:30pm

Typically, I like to think replacements should get the same amount of time a standard tour gets for a preview period. Let them work out the kinks of their performance for a couple weeks before you can officially review their performance.

OhHiii
#20Broadway Replacement Flop Era?
Posted: 2/11/24 at 1:44pm

Tina Fey made some points

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HogansHero
#21Broadway Replacement Flop Era?
Posted: 2/11/24 at 1:59pm

A comment and a question.

Some here easily and quickly get off track. The cost of previews is a valid subject, but it is not related to the arc of role development. And to suggest that anyone can extrapolate the apex of that arc from a first performance before an audience (and, worse, yet, an unseen performance, is just nonsense. 

Can someone point me to the hate-filled social media? I find it hard to believe that there are tons of teens writing about this (and the only specific mentioned was reddit which I do not think of as a bastion of the alpha/gen z demographic, and TBH I also don't think of it as social media). My guess is that most of the hate is coming from the same subset of humanity that we see glimpses of here in its dispepsic need to deliver breaking albeit unsupportable news of gloom.


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