Does The 'Galavant' Cast Really Sing? The TV Series Has An Uncommon Musical Method
When I first heard that ABC was going to air an original musical comedy set during the Middle Ages with knights and princesses and tons of guest stars, I didn’t know what to expect. I mostly thought that Galavant would be like the musical numbers in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It just seemed too offbeat to be done well. But then it premiered, and I’m definitely eating crow now. Galavant is about to return for its second season, and I’m all for it. I love a good musical. I just have one question — do the actors on Galavant really sing?
Both the stars and guest stars (including Ricky Gervais, John Stamos, Kylie Minogue, and more) are insanely talented, but it’s not really that easy to find talented people who can sing amazingly well and have comedic chops. According to Entertainment Weekly, each episode is a separate, completely original 22-minute musical. Alan Menken writes the musical number, and you may have heard of him, since if you’re a millennial like me, he wrote music for movies of your childhood like The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. If you think that seems like a lot of work, it one thousand percent is.
After the music is written and choreographed and all of the harmonies and fun stuff is worked out, the episode can be filmed. According to EW, Dan Fogelman, the creator of Galavant, really hates when people lip-sync on camera, so the cast sings live along to the show’s taping. Yes, sirs and ma’ams — every actor on Galavant is not only stunning to look at, but also he or she can sing, act, and dance. Seems unfair, doesn’t it? This bit about the live singing is an interesting fact because most musicals don’t even bother with this step — they just add the perfect vocals in post-production. It’s easier and you’re pretty much guaranteed an ideal sound. Some directors don’t like playing fast and loose, you know what I mean?
The most recent musical to do away with the pre-recorded tracks was the latest film version of Les Miserables. Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, and Hugh Jackman sang live during every single take. This allows for more variance in the music and a little bit more ad-libbing than would normally be possible in a musical. The directors and writers must trust the cast of Galavant, eh?
Surprisingly enough, not many members of the Galavant cast have appeared on Broadway and the like. Of the lot, Karen David, who plays Isabella, attended the Berklee School of Music in Boston and appeared in the original stage cast of the London West End version of Mamma Mia! She’s also had a few European chart toppers. Luke Youngblood, who plays Sid, appeared as Simba in the London West End version of The Lion King. All of the actors on Galavant are primarily actors and not singers, but you really could have fooled me — they all do such a great and convincing job on the show.
Who will sing their way to glory on Galavant Season 2? We’ll just have to wait to hear those sweet tunes.
Images: Nick Ray/ABC; Giphy (3)