Have you ever heard of Julia Andrews featuring in a gusset thrusting pop music video? Didn’t think so, then why should the former member of Pussycat Dolls Nicole Scherzinger be a part of the new cast of Cats, the Musical?
With the recent news of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber casting Scherzinger as the glamour show cat Grizabella, I wonder if too many celebrities being let into theatre land and making a mockery of the West End, resulting in stealing jobs from those who have been training in this industry since birth.
Cats premiered in 1981 at the New London Theatre and put on 9,000 performances. It was the trained actress and singer, Elaine Paige who played the original Grizabella for 21 years.
Breaking with tradition
Now returning to the London Palladium Theatre, Cats the Musical will be performing from December 2014 till February 2015. With the X Factor judge replacing Paige, this could be the end of what we perceive as a professional musical actor.
As we only have the trust of Lloyd Webber to know if Scherzinger can live up to the standard of Paige. What is wrong with a professional and experienced performer?
However, is this idea of using big named stars in the west end a marketing tactic to increase the audience numbers? Producers are latching onto the mass appeal of the celebrity, with more and more creative directors making celebrities as part of their cast such as Jason Donovan appearing in Annie Get Your Gun and Joseph and his Technicolor Dream Coat.
They are leaving those who have trained to be the next Joseph behind, to act as the stand in or as part of the ensemble, which is heartbreaking, obviously the performance art industry is a dog eat dog world and can be very competitive.
A reputable dispute
But it does not help when the Australian heart throb from Neighbours jumps in your shoes and takes over your dream role that you worked so hard for. And now Scherzinger has some rather big shoes or should I say paws to fill from Elaine Paige.
Surely it is the title of the show that sells and not the people in it? Cats The Musical, a being named musical and audiences will attend it just because of the name not because some failed pop star has taken a likening for a fury tail and somewhat tasteful leggings.
When ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden was offered the role of Fiona in Shrek the Musical, she took the right path and decided to turn the role down. Unfortunately Scherzinger has not taken the same advice, showcasing her so called talents on Sunday Night at the London Palladium on ITV she did not hit one note.
To follow her was the casts of Cats. I hope she was quaking in her boots as their performance on Sunday night was spine chilling. The dancers had so much energy and stamina to sing and dance all at the same time it was quite a performance.
Will the Pussycat Doll, who has been used to miming, get used to multitasking i.e. singing and dancing together, or will she run away through the cat flap?
What do you think? Is Scherzinger the right person for the role? Have your say in the comments section below.