There was recently an article on Playbill entitled PLAYBILL PICKS: Fantasy Casting, 11 Diva Performances We'd Love to Have Seen. They placed their favorite females in female roles across the ages [highlights: Bernadette Peters & Patti LuPone in Wicked, Liza Minnelli in Sunset Boulevard, Nathan Lane in Hairspray, & Betty Buckley in Evita]. While my DreamCasts tend to cast actors from different mediums as opposed to era, I loved this idea & decided to copycat.
So, here is my list of Top-10 Female DreamCast Divas from the archives.
10. Stacey Dash as Aida in AIDA
Ms. Paltrow is the perfect picture of the classy, contemporary, Whole Foods, goop-livin', list-makin' Mother of the House.
8. Jennifer Garner as Ellen in Miss Saigon
Her performance in Juno reminded me of Ellen's journey. Ellen can be played a million different ways, but I envision hers as: A steel magnolia who doesn't mind getting dirty, a wholly-devoted wife, who is strong despite herself, & a woman with the fiercest of maternal instincts.
7. Charlotte Gainsborough as Fosca in PASSION
the reactionary traits that Fosca must display: dealing with being pigeonholed due to gender, the result of being openly judged due to appearance, and the effect of isolation on one's person. Fosca is a similar character to Jane Eyre, except that she is physically ill, slightly crazy, & more emotionally aggressive.
6. Amy Adams/Isla Fisher as Daisy/Violet Hilton Side Show
I always mix these two actresses up in my head, but have always appreciated their work. Isla Fisher seems to have the urgent & flamboyant undertone that Daisy demands, while Amy Adams has the sweet, hopeful, & passive demeanor Violet requires.
5. Austin Scarlett as Angel in RENT
Angel needs to spin the loveliest web of an impression before his untimely exit, which is exactly what Austin Scarlett during Season 1 of Project Runway. He has an innocence & refreshing perspective, but knowingly faces his trials head-on.
4. Felicity Huffman as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd
She is a tough, cool, complicated actress that displays the roughened edges that dark humor demands. She displayed in Transamerica that she can unfold a character as the text presents new information, which is a necessity for Mrs. Lovett. Most importantly, she exhibits the strength & skill to play a woman who has spent years withholding her love towards a man.
3. KIM CATRALL as Norma Desmond in Sunset Blvd.
Norma Desmond was always cast too old. She should be a very present 50-something lady with a strong sexual presence. And the knowledge of age, but not antiquity. In Sex & The City, she exhibited that urgent effort against aging & becoming obsolete.She also commanded & demanded center-stage attention, which is a defining characteristic of Ms. Desmond.
2. SURI CRUISE as Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden
She is finally old enough to star in something besides tabloids. Mary is a girl who is thrust into the world of the English moors after an isolated life in the foreign, unrelatable India. I think Suri could channel that feeling.
1. LADY GAGA as The Witch in Into the Woods
For only the most obvious reasons. Who else would have the creative competancy, respect for the work, & visionary chops to reign as one of Captain Sondheim's most beloved lady-part creations? I think Ms. Peters would approve.