HOLLYWOOD — When NBC announced it would follow the live production of “The Sound of Music” with a live production of “Peter Pan” on Dec. 4, the network planned to cast a young boy as Peter Pan. Traditionally, live stage productions have starred women, such as Jean Arthur and Mary Martin, on Broadway and Martin’s classic TV production. Then, gymnast, Kathy Rigby toured for years, in a successful revival. Females were cast as the boy who refused to grow up because they were light enough to fly on wires. The idea of actually casting a young boy, the right age and height, would have made the production soar.
But for some reason, NBC has cast Allison Williams to play Peter Pan. Allison, the daughter of “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams, plays Marnie Michaels on “Girls” and has appeared in three episodes of “The Mindy Project,” but she’s 26 years old and stands 5-foot-6. To support her, they’ve cast Christopher Walken to play Captain Hook and Broadway star Kelli O’Hara to play Wendy’s mother. Christian Borle, who was a regular on “Smash” and was in “The Sound of Music,” will play two roles, Smee, Hook’s right-hand man, and Wendy’s father. Critics thought Carrie Underwood’s singing was good but her acting skills weren’t able to fill Julie Andrews’ shoes. Maybe Allison Williams’ unknown status, as an actress and singer, will work in her favor, but she’s a pretty lady, how are they going to keep Peter Pan from looking like a pretty boy?
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Another strange bit of casting is Michael C. Hall of “Dexter,” who is going to play (are you ready?) “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” When Andrew Rannells, who made his mark on Broadway in “The Book of Mormon,” the NBC series “The New Normal” and “Girls” leaves the show Oct. 12, Hall will go from serial killer to an East German transgender woman. Wouldn’t you love to see a video of him learning to wear the highest spiked-heels on Broadway! He’ll start Oct. 16 and go to Jan. 4.
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You knew when they made “21 Jump Street” and followed it with “22 Jump Street” they wouldn’t stop there. Now there’ll be a “23 Jump Street.” “21 Jump Street” cost $42 million to make and grossed $201.5 million, while “22 Jump Street” cost $65 million and took in $320 million. Supposedly, this time Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are headed for medical school. If this keeps up they may make the 20 sequels they listed on the closing credits of “22 Jump Street.” Where will it end … “65 Jump Street: The Senior Home”?
© 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.