Vote casting: ‘Legally Blonde,’ etc.

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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