Staff Picks: Our Favorite Miscast Performances
From talking about who’ll star in the next big Broadway musical to naming who we want to see in upcoming film adaptations, we spend a lot of time imagining our dream casts. So, when the annual MCC Theater Miscast Gala takes place, we spend a few hours seeing if our dream casting has been manifested into reality.
Over the years, there’s been some truly iconic Miscast performances, with Broadway stars singing musical numbers for roles they wouldn’t traditionally be cast in. We’ve shared our favorite Miscast numbers from recent years, and you can be a part of the action in 2021. Miscast21 takes place virtually on May 16, with free tickets on TodayTix.
Beanie Feldstein singing “Dancing Through Life” from Wicked
Matt, Theatre Team
This performance brings two of my favorite things together: A fresh take on one of my favorite Broadway shows and, well, dogs. Beanie Feldstein steps into the role of Fiyero to take on this beloved classic, and does so while serenading her absolutely perfect pooch. Throw in a Kristin Chenoweth cameo at the end and I am sold! This performance was from last year’s first ever virtual Miscast, so getting to watch this from home (and see it made from home) makes this video even more intimate (and awesome!)
Laura Benanti and Christopher Fitzgerald singing “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” from The Sound of Music
Abby, Creative Studio
This is not up for debate: Laura Benanti and Christopher Fitzgerald are two of the funniest people in musical theatre. This video has community theatre energy in the best possible way except it’s performed by a Tony Award winner and a Tony Award nominee, respectively. It’s awkward and the singing is definitely something and are they playing Liesl and Rolfe as a modern-day couple and if so why are they wearing that? Also who is dancing during the dance scene? We will never know these answers and that’s what makes it perfect.
The cast of Mean Girls sings a medley of songs from Jersey Boys
Jersey Boys is one of the musicals I’ve seen the most times and Mean Girls will forever hold a piece of my heart. I was in the actual audience for this performance and the second the lights came up on those glittery red jackets I screamed. Gender-bending an iconic quartet with another iconic quartet seems so obvious but was so genius, so, watch this video. It’s like, so fetch!
Katrina Lenk singing “If I Were a Rich Man” from Fiddler on the Roof
When I say I think about this video three times a week, it’s not an exaggeration. I think about it near-constantly. It rattles around in my otherwise empty brain with the verve and unnecessarily catchy ping of Katrina Lenk plucking a violin. I would say that it’s in there rent-free, but the price I pay? I haven’t known peace since 2018, when this was uploaded to YouTube. It is, quite possibly, the most witchery, charisma, and flat-out talent ever displayed in a single performance. And luckily for us (or, probably, unluckily for me and my ability to focus on anything except this extremely specific genre) Katrina Lenk’s mastery of gender-bent roles has barely just begun.
Tina Fey and Tituss Burgess singing “You’re Nothing Without Me” from City of Angels
This is one of my best stories, probably top three. I attended the Miscast Gala this year, and a friend who worked on the event decided to sit me at the same table as Tina Fey and not tell me. Imagine my surprise when I sat down. (She and her husband were absolutely lovely and included me in their conversation for the whole night.)
Well, imagine my surprise again when halfway through dinner and the performances, she whipped a microphone out of her purse, Jenna Maroney style, and walked up to the stage to sing with Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (and Broadway fave) Tituss Burgess completely bringing down the house. If you look closely, the back of my head is in the video. I hope I never stop telling this story or watching this performance.