Theatre Talk Thursday: Which movie star would you like to see take to the stage in a musical one day?

This year at the Tony Awards, one of the first time nominees is Oscar-winning film actor, Tom Hanks, whose Broadway debut as Mike McAlary in Lucky Guy has been met with enormous success and praise from critics and public audiences alike.  Of course, Hanks is a tremendous talent on multiple levels, but if he can make it on Broadway – and he’s not the first Hollywood star to give the stage a shot – who is to say that other popular actors couldn’t or shouldn’t do the same?  Certainly this is an age of vastly multi-talented stars with both screen veterans and newcomers tackling films, television, music projects and theatre, sometimes all at once!  With that in mind, this week we asked: Which movie star would you like to see take to the stage in a musical one day?

Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr.

Monte, creative director and managing editor

I’m actually rather torn on this one.  It’s sort of a toss up between two actors who are very much multi-talented and certainly larger-than-life enough to make the leap from film to stage.  On the one hand is Robert Downey Jr.; the man has an alarmingly gorgeous singing voice and his acting ability runs the gamut from comedy (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), to high-octane action (the Iron Man trilogy), to serious dramas (Chaplin).  He’s certainly got the ability to make that leap, the real question would be if he had the time to put into a stage production.  On the other hand, there’s Gary Oldman, another actor with an insanely varied background and a lovely voice, I mean, the man’s sung with David Bowie on at least one occasion, and reportedly wanted to audition for the role of Javert in the Les Miserables film.  I say give him his shot!

Jamie Foxx.

Jamie Foxx.

Noelle, editor

Jamie Foxx sang in Dreamgirls and is in negotiations to star in a film adaptation of the musical Annie. His portrayal of Ray Charles in Ray earned him a Best Actor Oscar. I most recently saw him as Django in Django Unchained, in which he played a slave turned bounty hunter. The stoic Django could have been a one-note avenging angel, but instead Foxx was searing and sympathetic. He can play both funny and intense. I’d like to see him as a brooding or enigmatic character of Stephen Sondheim’s creation, but he could also put his smooth demeanor to use as the oily Billy Flynn in Chicago. Whatever the role, I’d love to see his interpretation and hear him sing on stage.

Claire, senior reporter

I would love to see Bradley Cooper in a musical. He’s been on Broadway before, but never in a musical. He has incredible acting range and depending on the genre of musical he chose, he’d be either hilarious to watch or absolutely moving. I once saw him walk out of the stage door for Promises, Promises a few years ago. Maybe he’s hanging out in Broadway theaters because he subconsciously wants to do a musical…a girl can dream right? He’s one of my favorite actors and I have no doubt he’d do a great job. Despite the stigma that sometimes comes with putting Hollywood stars on Broadway, Bradley would easily prove just how genuine his talent is!

Zac Efron.

Zac Efron.

Wendi, multimedia reporter

I would love to see Zac Efron on stage. Before you judge, hear me out. Efron is one of the few Hollywood stars that actually has the vocals and has proved himself as a triple threat on the big (and small) screen. After singing and dancing his way through movie musicals like High School Musical and Hairspray, doing it live on a Broadway stage wouldn’t be that much harder. He has a theatrical background as well, having done musical theatre before he made it big, and having yet another beautiful and talented leading man on Broadway (joining my favorite Aaron Tveit) would definitely be fun. Another fun one to put on Broadway would be the always adorable (and with a surprisingly nice singing voice) Reese Witherspoon.

Josh, columnist

Truth be told, I’ve always secretly wanted to see Rachel McAdams play the Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I have no idea why I would love to see her in that particular role (or if she can even sing), but I can just picture it so clearly in my mind! I also think it would be epic to have Donny Osmond play the Pharaoh so that when he and the new Joseph sing together, we as an audience have a chance to see a “passing of the torch” moment between them. Regardless, Rachel’s smile would light up any stage and I think she would be a brilliant and unique choice for the Narrator.

Carey Mulligan.

Carey Mulligan.

Lucy, writer

Carey Mulligan. I think that she’s absolutely fantastic, and is probably my favorite screen actress. She’s shown that she can sing in Shame, and although it isn’t Broadway standard, she has a sweet voice which with training, could be lovely to hear in a musical. Apparently when she was younger, she wanted to be in musical theatre too! Plus, it’d be great to see The Great Gatsby turned into a musical with her as Daisy! I’d also love to see her as Sally Bowles in Cabaret – I definitely think that she has the look for it, at least.

Rachel, writer

This might be cheating, since I’m naming someone who has been in several musical film adaptations, but if you know me at all, you will know of my absolute adoration for Queen Latifah. I’ve seen almost every movie she’s ever been in, and the woman can do no wrong. Need I remind you that she was nominated for an Academy Award for her turn as Matron “Mama” Morton in the film adaptation of Chicago? I’d love to see her reprise that role on Broadway, however I could also picture her in many other roles as well. Queen Latifah has impeccable comedic timing and a fierce belting range, and I think she should consider coming to Broadway to play Miss Hannigan in Annie.

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