NBC announced last October that they were going to do a live production of one of my all-time favorite musicals, Bye Bye Birdie, with Jennifor Lopez producing and playing Rose Alvarez. Nobody else has been cast yet, so these are some of my dream casting choices for the main singing roles. A few of them may be completely unrealistic, but I am still putting them out into the universe just in case.
1. Zachary Levi as Albert F. Peterson
As soon as I saw him in She Loves Me last summer, I knew that he would be perfect for this role. I grew up watching Dick Van Dyke, and I think that Levi has a lot of that same earnestness and heart.
2. Selena Gomez as Kim McAfee
Not only does Gomez have a great voice, but she has that sweet, innocent quality that embodies Kim. She also has the ability to be a little edgier for Kim’s night out on the town with Conrad.
3. Jeremy Jordan as Conrad Birdie
For Conrad, the hip twitch is very important. I mean, he makes women faint with his hips. For the life of me, I could not find a good clip of Jordan dancing, but he has done plenty of Broadway shows, so I think he can pull it off. If nothing else, he definitely has the sincere bad boy thing down, and an incredible voice. I mean…
4. Grant Gustin as Hugo Peabody
He has that sweet, slightly nerdy quality that Hugo possesses. I am hoping that, for this production, they use the film version of ‘A Lot of Livin’ to Do,’ because Hugo does not sing in the Broadway version of the song.
5. Donna Lynne Champlin as Mama Peterson
She is definitely not old enough to play Zachary Levi’s mother, but she is so fantastic on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend that I figure she can just wear makeup to age herself. Champlin has the perfect sense of humor to play the overly-dramatic Mama to Levi’s Albert.
6. Lin-Manuel Miranda as Harry McAfee
This is the most unrealistic choice on the entire list, but a girl can dream. If you do not know why I have chosen him, you clearly have been living under a rock for the past two years. There were a ton of Hamilton videos to choose from, but I think this one displays the goofiness needed to play Mr. McAfee.
7. Hailee Steinfeld as Ursula
Ursula is an enthusiastic Conrad Birdie fan, but she is also a little awkward like Hugo, which I think Steinfeld would pull off beautifully. She is a great actress with a phenomenal voice.
8. Stephen Colbert as Ed Sullivan
Okay, technically this is not a singing role, but since Ed Sullivan played himself in the original movie, I thought it would be fun to have a current late-night host play the part in this production. Colbert is really the only one that I think has the gravitas and talent to pull this off on live television.