re: what about Julie Andrews? Shirley MacLaine? Gwen Verdon?
Last Edit: PlayWiz 08:32 pm EDT 04/16/24
Posted by: PlayWiz 08:16 pm EDT 04/16/24
In reply to: re: what about Julie Andrews? Shirley MacLaine? Rita Moreno? Gwen Verdon? - Chazwaza 07:02 pm EDT 04/16/24

Julie Andrews played two sort of borderline unpleasant characters in "Star!" (as as very un-Maria Von Trapp-like, kind of bitchy at times Gertrude Lawrence) and as a WWI German spy plotting against Americans in "Darling Lili", both huge flops which seriously hurt her film career. Maybe she didn't want to play the even more reprehensible Mrs. Lovett by then as her return to the NY stage (and certainly maybe not be a replacement after years away, with many folks pining for her return).

Mrs. Lovett isn't that easy a sing -- Lansbury went into head voice a number of times in "Wait!" if I recall which a lot of belters might not have, though maybe some belters might just try to belt it (or it might have a slight alternate vocal line at those junctures).

Shirley MacLaine's singing voice seemed to me to be very slight. Maybe she was able to shout out "Hernando's Hideaway" back in her fairly brief but famous tenure in "Pajama Game" but her Charity in the movie of "Sweet Charity" sounded kind of underpowered vocally.

Gwen Verdon started off with a big belt when she did Lola in "Damn Yankees", but her smoking progressively weakened her vocal instrument progressively from show to show. She would have made a wonderful Adelaide in "Guys and Dolls" if they ever offered it to her in a revival though, and been able to have her dance numbers built up as well. But she was big box-office, original shows were still being written for her, and she's still the original Lola, Charity and Roxie on Broadway.
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