FIVE BLOOD CURDLING SCREAMSYes, that blog title is correct- today we're screaming for a BAD reason. I'm sorry if reading this has ruined your day. I know it nearly ruined my night when I heard the news last night. I was prefectly happy watching the season finale of "Dancing with the Stars." It's a guilty pleasure, I admit. Samantha Harris co-hosts the show with Tom Bergeron. To say he hosts circles around her would be an understatement. She is beyond terrible. I can hardly bear to sit through her awkward interviews with the performers. It's as if she's not even paying attention to what's coming out of her mouth or theirs!
My friends Brance and Betsy refer to her as "a poor man's Catherine Zeta-Jones." I used to laugh at this and even used the nickname myself, but lately I feel like I'm insulting Catherine Zeta more than Samantha Harris when I say it. Those two should not even be in the same universe. Ok, ok, I'm getting to the real story here. As I was saying, I was perfectly content, sitting on the couch, watching the season finale of DWTS, when Tom announced that his co-host would soon be starring on Broadway as Roxie Hart in Chicago. I nearly fell off the couch. (For the full story, click on the title of this blog and you'll be directed to playbill.com.) Of course the first thing I did was text both Brance and Betsy. Betsy responded immediately, "You have got to be kidding me. I seriously just threw up," followed by "What has the world come to?" and "I really cannot believe this. It's disturbing and I can't get the horrifying visual out of my mind!" It's no secret that the recent revival of Chicago on Broadway is not much more than a revolving door of B-list celebrities, but this is an all-time low. Remember when Lisa Rinna played Roxie? I thought that was about as bad as it could get, but apparently I was wrong. (Other less than fabulous choices for the production: Ashlee Simpson (Roxie Hart, West End), Brooke Shields (Roxie), Harry Hamlin (Billy Flynn), Usher (Billy), Joey Lawrence (Billy), David Hasselhoff (Billy), and Kelly Osbourne (Mama Morton).
So what is wrong with Broadway today? So many great shows closed this past January, putting hundreds of talented performers out of work and yet Chicago continues to run, even with "actors" like Samantha Harris in the lead role.
When Brance finally responded to my text, it had a different tone than I expected. He responded by saying, "If poor man's Catherine Zeta Jones can be on Broadway, then there's hope for us all." True. It was hard to tell if his text was meant to be sarcastic or hopeful. (He's a professional actor currently living in NYC.) My cynical self would like to think, "Why not just pull people off the street and cast them in Broadway shows? It would be a lot more interesting, but the standards wouldn't have to change at all! But then again, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Poor Man's Catherine Zeta will blow us all away with her spot-on portrayal of the infamous Roxie Hart. I won't hold my breath, though.