Actors singing actresses’ showstoppers, young women filling old men’s roles, seniors playing ingenues, actors of color taking parts usually cast for whites — welcome to the topsy-turvy world of miscast productions.
Sparked in large measure by Broadway actors flip-flopping parts in MisCast Broadway fundraisers, the Waco Civic Theatre will try its hand in a MisCast Cabaret on Friday night at the Waco Hippodrome.
Nearly 20 WCT actors and supporters will perform in the cabaret, with performances at 7 and 9:30 p.m.
The production will sample such Broadway musicals as “The Book of Mormon,” “Hamilton,” “Matilda the Musical,” “Newsies,” “Waitress,” “Dreamgirls,” “In The Heights,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “Aladdin,” “Into the Woods,” “Cinderella” and “The Addams Family Musical.”
Director Phillip Diaz said roughly a quarter of the production were performer-song pairings heard at auditions, with the balance created and produced after auditions.
WCT executive director Eric Shepard said the cabaret revue format adds a little flexibility to the WCT’s season offerings. Actors can perform material without being locked into the weeks of rehearsal for a typical stage play or musical. Performers can sing from musicals such as “Hamilton,” “Phantom of the Opera” or “Newsies” whose whole forms are too expensive to produce or whose general audience appeal is limited, Shephard said.
The change in locale enables food and drink service — hence the cabaret of the title —as well as provides a different space for slightly racier material. Diaz and Shephard characterize the MisCast Cabaret as PG-13 equivalent.
While most of the MisCast Cabaret acts are solos or duets, some of the larger ensemble numbers, such as an all-female “King of New York” from “Newsies,” an all-male “Stepsisters’ Lament” from “Cinderella” and a flip-flopped quartet on “The Schuyler Sisters” from “Hamilton,” had to adjust to the Hippodrome’s narrower stage, Diaz said.