I just saw Mario Lopez in "A Chorus Line" this week actually and he was fine. He plays Zach so he does relatively little singing and dancing compared to the others. I didn't go specifically to see him and thought he might be distracting (stunt casting is really against the entire point of "ACL") but he was totally fine. And he looks SMOKIN'. I also saw "Sunday in the Park" this week and Jenna Russell and Daniel Evans sounded a lot like Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patinkin. Another good show.
"Xanadu" was horrible. I went because I had free press tickets and my friend and I kept looking over at each other and wondering what we weren't getting. The audience was eating it up. I guess maybe it's nostalgia for people who saw the movie when it first came out. It was totally ridiculous. I was so glad that Cheyenne Jackson was onstage the entire time in short shorts so I had something interesting to look at. I'm also not a Kerry Butler fan.
Eden Espinosa is closing out "Rent." She'll be the last Maureen. The "Rent" tribute was what I was looking forward to the most and I thought it was subpar. The current cast looks pretty terrible (I actually thought Tamyra sounded amazing on "La Vie Boheme" and you could hear her over everyone else) and I wanted more of the focus to be on the original cast members.
Every actress who has played Mama Rose on Broadway (Merman, Lansbury, Daly, Peters, LuPone) has been nominated and three have won (Merman and Peters are the odd ones out). Interestingly, Boyd Gaines and Laura Benanti are the first Herbie and Louise to win.
Regarding the "Legally Blonde" contestants, I know that Celina was Jenn Gambatese's understudy on Broadway in "Tarzan" and got to go on. Autumn was Beth in the "Little Women" national tour. Emma is Jerry Zaks's daughter so there's that. My pick to win is Bailey I think.
Noel, did you work on "Kids Incorporated"? That and "MMC" were my favorite shows when I was a kid. Those "MMC" kids have not done too badly for themselves.