Vote casting: 'Legally Blonde,' etc.

July 22, 2008
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Broadway has a new lead actress for "Legally Blonde: The Musical," thanks to an MTV talent competition (see story here). London and Broadway have also cast talent for revivals of "Grease," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," "The Sound of Music" and "Oliver" thanks to televised viewer-vote casting.

Clearly, this works as a marketing tool. But are such competitions of any value in actually finding talent? While I realize that the standard audition process for such shows can be grueling, I also think that pandering to audience whim is likely to lead to performances that fit a mold rather than create something new and interesting.

But apparently the producers of these shows aren't looking for interesting.

Your thoughts?

And, be honest, if there were a local, televised talent competetion to cast the lead in a production at American Cabaret Theatre or Beef & Boards, would that make you more likely to buy a ticket?
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  • Correction: The Legally Blonde replacement selection wasn't a viewer-voting process. The rest, however, were.
  • I hate reality shows in general, so casting this way does nothing to make me want to go see the winners in anything on Broadway. I'd rather see real talent honed over years of practice than a couple of kids who got a lucky break.
  • I assume casting directors have talent and experience in hiring talented actors, and I would prefer that they be allowed to do their jobs if I'm going to be asked to pay for a regularly priced ticket at a professional theater.
  • I agree with Barbara. I can't stand reality tv. Anyone can see that the general public generally has no taste anyway. Ever see the nominees and winners for the People's Choice Awards? I would rather see real talent in a show not a popularity contest winner.

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