Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Spiderman Musical Gets a Mary Jane and a Start Date

It's (almost) official!

IESB is confirming from an interview with Evan Rachel Wood, that the young actress has been cast as Mary Jane in Julie Taymor's musical, set to open in 2010. She & Jim Sturgess were in Taymor's workshop production of the show and according to Wood, they are still trying to get him to sign on. Wood also mentioned that rehearsals will begin in June of 2009.

We all kind of suspected this would happen when the Across the Universe duo was cast in the workshop. The casting is actually on, but Evan Rachel Wood is not my favorite and I'm not sure her voice (Across the Universe was her first time singing) will be able to hold up on Broadway. As much as I adore Jim Sturgess, I wasn't alone in noticing the autotune all over Across the Universe's soundtrack. At least with music by Bono & The Edge, the score should be more rock, less musical theater-y (if I say that's a term, it's a term!) and thus easier for the relatively inexperienced singers than any other Broadway show would be.


EruditeChick said...

This is so disappointing, and that it makes me most disappointed in is the director. Seriously?? Seriously? You're putting up a musical in NYC. It's the perfect opportunity to audition the biggest pool of young, trained talent in the world, and you're casting two film actors, one of whom is a foreigner.

Think we're gonna see yet another American film actor forced off onto some random West End production in compensation?

Great. Can't wait. Boo.

LoquaciousMuse said...

Well hey if that American film actor is you or me...then I'm sold. Send us to The West End! Woot!

Anonymous said...

Jim Sturgess sang 80% of the songs in ATU on set - LIVE. He has a fantastic rock voice and was a professional musician/singer long before he was an established film actor. He wrote and performed his own music in the Harrison Ford movie, "Crossing Over," and I have some bootleg recordings...they are fantastic. I think Jim is more than capable of carrying the role and vocals. He is a fantastic film actor and was professionally trained in live theater since a young boy. He will do fine and Julie would be lucky to get him.

david said...

flowingwords -

i was about to post something to the effect of how much you just pwned the two lovely ladies of this here blog.

but then i followed your link.

massive fail city.

while everything you say about jim sturgess may be true (and given your devotion, probably is), no one who is to any extent "haunted" by the woefully 2-dimensional character of jude in the shit-sandwich that is "across the universe" is entitled to a valid opinion on anything else. that may seem harsh, but thems be the breaks. i'm sure you're a lovely person and write excellent fan fiction, but just because mr. sturgess makes you all fluttery doesn't mean that rampant praise of one of the decade's worst films will go unpunished.

and i think that EC and LQ are much less hostile to the inevitable sturgess casting than they are to evan rachel wood. she's cute and looks the part but amen what EC said about manhattan's pool of talent - someone here has to eclipse her. but then again, with broadway shows being pulled left and right, i think that the pairing is more of a shrewd business move than anything else, and this may very well be one of those predicaments wherein you gotta take what you can get, particularly with financial vitality at such a premium these days.

LoquaciousMuse said...

flowingwords -

don't get me wrong. i LOVE jim sturgess. AND across the universe, david...

i was just pointing out there there are parts on the ATU soundtrack that are clearly auto tuned (doesn't mean i don't love his voice anyway) and it's UBER risky to cast someone in a Broadway show who may go off key.

but it is a rock musical, and i adore him and his voice, so i'm sure he would be great if cast. it's more evan rachel wood that irks me. i don't think she is a very good actress or could carry a broadway show. but we'll see!

and do you know where i could find any of jim's non-ATU recordings? would love to hear em.

EruditeChick said...

Jim's okay. He's charming and easy on the eyes, and his voice is pleasant. David's right, though, it's ERW I have the most issue with.

Mary Jane is supposed to be a model, a knockout. ERW is a pretty girl with an ingenue vibe. That's not MJ. MJ's a swinger, a party-er, a hep chick with a sort of shady background. EVEN WHEN THEY WERE IN HIGH SCHOOL. Also, ERW is not a phenomenal singer. She's an okay vocalist. Okay. Okay should not get you the privilege of originating the role of Mary Jane Watson in Spiderman the musical. In all the cities in all the world for you to put this show up, to bring in Hollywood talent to ride off the ...success, I guess... of a movie you just did... I find it a fairly deplorable action.

Additionally, I don't think it's an especially savvy business move, either. Spring Awakening's buzz was powered in part by the fact that its cast were unknowns. They excelled at their roles and, love or hate the show, their performances were generally extraordinary.

And Taymore's bringing in two fairly unsurprising talents, neither of whom, from what I've heard, have extraordinary voices. Good, but not extraordinary. Just my opinion on that.

Either way, I think the casting is off, here. I don't think Sturgess is right for Peter, and I don't think ERW is right for MJ- Gwen Stacy, sure. MJ? No. Not even a little.

So in general, as much as I would kill to be excited over this musical, I'm kinda... not.

Sally Belle said...

You are so wrong about auto tuning on Across the Universe. Sturgess and Wood can both sing. Didn't you see them sing live on Good Morning America? Also, they did the workshop and performed for the suits at Marvel...who approved the choices. Word from the showcase workshop was that they both blew people away.

Wood sang on Once And Again as a young girl and she's a terrific singer. She also toured with a musical stage version of A Christmas Carol for two years, singing a solo ballad at the age of 7 and 8.

Why, oh why do people just assume that "film" actors have no theatre experience, or cannot handle broadway? Anne Hathaway did broadway before she ever made a movie.

Sturgess isn't doing the show anyway...but, he could certainly do a great job if he did.

EruditeChick said...

As trained stage actors with filmic aspirations, I'd warn you against lumping us in with "people" who just assume film actors can't do stage. Since you'd be wrong.

Doing a tour when you're 7 or 8 is hugely different than starring in a show when you're an adult, and good for the execs at Marvel- but I've heard them sing. We've all heard them sing, and guess what? I'm not blown away.

I've been blown away. There's a girl named Joanna Lampert who sings with a small rock group here in NYC and works at Joe's Pub attached to the Public. That girl blows me away.

Nothing short of a miraculous, surprising performance from ERW will change my mind on this. Bad choice, easy choice, unimaginative and disappointing choice.

LoquaciousMuse said...

Anne Hathaway would no doubt kill on Broadway, cause she does have that kind of experience. I can't wait to see her as Viola this summer.

Evan Rachel Wood is a different story. She sang as a kid, but has no professional training and singing a lead role in 8 shows a week for a year is nowhere near the same has a. being a kid with a solo in a touring company or b. singing the lead role in a film.

Jim Sturgess, I love him, I love his voice, but again, 8 shows a week? I don't know. He probably knows this, which is why he isn't doing the show.

I love Across the Universe. And I love Spiderman. And I'll be seeing this show no matter what. Just disappointed that they didn't try to search for someone who would really be amazing as Mary-Jane.