I'm not sure whether I've been doing a really bad job keeping up with theatre news, or whether I heard this one a while ago and simply blocked it from my memory. Probably both. But did you know Phylicia Rashad is taking over the role of Violet Weston in August: Osage County in less than two weeks? It's true! And no, they're not turning the Weston family black (or mixed-race) to accomodate this casting. In fact, original cast member Amy Morton is coming back on the same date. All of which strikes me as...odd. (And not just me, obviously -- everyone else filed their confusion/dismay two months ago.) But wait, this is the good part. Here's how I found out -- I went to the official website for the show and saw the button that says, "Learn more about Phylicia and Jenny Craig. See our latest offer."
I saw Deanna Dunagan -- awesome -- and I saw Estelle Parsons -- also awesome -- but I probably won't rush out to see Phylicia. Who knows, maybe she'll be a better fit for the part than I'm imagining, but the fact that she was cast without any significant plausibility adjustments in the cast around her makes me suspect the production in general has jumped the shark. However, since they've updated the homepage to reference Rashad's weight-loss spokesperson gig, I'm wondering whether the script will get some tweaks, too. Like, maybe, instead of cancer, Violet can just have a weight problem. And she can turn to Jenny Craig to help kick her diet-pill addiction! A happy ending!
You might have noticed I haven't commented at all on the Tony nominations. This is partly because I'm busy, but mostly because I'm completely unexcited about this year's Tonys. Oh, I have a few thoughts here and there... But I can't remember when I've been so un-invested in who got nominated and who will win, especially in the musicals categories. It's all meh. And now, this headline on Playbill.com: