Los Angeles is a city that loves summer. After all, we live in perpetual summer, only seeing traces of other seasons during maybe two months out of the year. So it makes sense that we're not quite as wild about outdoor theater as other cities are. Sure, we have a few Shakespeare productions in parks, but nothing like the New York's Shakespeare in the Park institution or St. Louis' Muny.
But what we do have is about as L.A. as it gets: a convergence of TV, radio, and musical theater stars at the Hollywood Bowl for a big-name musical one weekend in August.
This year's production is Hair, and we can't help but wonder who will “turn on, tune in, and drop out” at the opportunely-named Bowl.
Being the pretentious theater geeks we are, of course we have some suggestions.]
Zac Efron as Claude
Ok, ok, it sounds absurd at first. Zefron, impending movie fratstar as the 60s' response to Hamlet? But hear us out – Efron is a pretty talented actor. You wouldn't expect 17 Again to be the home of nuanced acting, but if you pay close attention, his Matthew Perry impression is pretty spot-on. He can do so much better than “Bet on It” from High School Musical 2, and as this clip of him singing with Taylor Swift shows, even though his HSM and Hairspray days are behind him, he's still a good singer.
Skylar Astin as Berger
Astin played Mark in Rent at the Hollywood Bowl in 2010, so he has a history with the venue, and we'd love to see him return to his musical theater roots (he was in the original Broadway cast of Spring Awakening alongside Lea Michele, Jonathan Groff, and John Gallagher, Jr.). We're more used to seeing him play the straight guy in movies like 21 & Over, but who knows? Maybe he has killer comedic chops to accompany his fantastic voice. (Warning: this video has NSFW language)
Kirstie Maldonado as Sheila
The only girl in a cappella group Pentatonix (which won the third season of NBC's The Sing-Off in 2011) , Maldonado is severely underused in pop culture, especially considering how talented of a singer she is. We bet she's so used to singing nonsense syllables doing a cappella that she could probably even make the “gliddy glop gloopy” lyrics in “Good Morning Starshine” slightly less ridiculous.
Naya Rivera as Dionne
Rivera is one of the most under-appreciated singers on Glee, and we'd love to see a better showcase for her talents. Surprisingly, other than guest star John Stamos, nary a Gleek has appeared in a musical at the Hollywood Bowl.
Moses Sumney as Hud
Ok, so we're big fans of Moses Sumney here (he's also, in full disclosure, a former L.A. Weekly intern), but his talent is undeniable – he's been named a talent to watch in 2014 by us, KCRW, Time Out Los Angeles and many others for a reason. Sure, he's more of a tenor than a bass, and he doesn't have a ton of musical theater experience, but he'd absolutely go to town as Hud.
Sarah Hyland as Crissy
Modern Family and musical theater – not a natural combination, right? Wrong. Hyland, who plays Haley Dunphy on the ABC sitcom, has been in musicals since a young age, playing Molly in the TV musical version of Annie in the 90s (remember that? Yup), and making her Broadway debut in Grey Gardens in 2006. Her youthful voice and face would be a great match for Crissy. Watch this and try not to imagine her singing “Frank Mills.”
Sam Tsui as Woof
YouTube sensation Tsui can already rock the high tenor required for Woof, and we'd love to see him perform on stage, not just on our computer screens. You might have already seen his “Let It Go”/”Let Her Go” mashup, but it's worth watching again.
Who do you think should be in Hair at the Hollywood Bowl? Let us know in the comments.
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