Who Will NBC's 'Bye Bye Birdie' Cast In The Other Roles? There's Plenty To Live Up To With Jennifer Lopez At The Helm
Get the blue screen at the ready, because Bye Bye Birdie is coming to television. Yes, on Thursday, it was announced that NBC's 2017 holiday musical will be Bye Bye Birdie Live! — and that's not all. The cast is already looking to be star-studded as Jennifer Lopez will play Rosie and serve as one of the executive producers on the TV musical. That's a lot of power to place behind this particular adaptation, and it makes you wonder: Who else will make up the cast of Bye Bye Birdie ?
As of right now, Lopez is the only one confirmed on the roster. However, maybe if fans look back on the 1963 film adaptation, they'll get a better sense of who could fill in all the important roles.
Back then, Dick Van Dyke played songwriter Albert Peterson with buckets of charm, but as Van Dyke is, you know, several years Van Dead, I can't really imagine him making a reprisal. But hey, everybody knows that Neil Patrick Harris is burdened with perpetual charm and always looking for musical to dive into. Could Bye Bye Birdie possibly lure the CBS alum? I ask only because I think Joseph Gordon-Levitt is too ambitious and indie for that.
What about Conrad Birdie himself? Maybe the Elvis-esque character could be cast by an unknown. I know, I know, it sounds crazy that the titular star would be just some rando, but it was Jesse Pearson who picked up that guitar back in '63. And while he may have been a bigger deal in, you know, 1963, this generation of kids aren't as familiar with his TV career. As far as starring roles go, nobody fancy has to fill Birdie's shoes, necessarily.
Really, Bye Bye Birdie was Ann-Margret's vehicle. She's the one bursting with adolescent energy at the start of the film, and she continued to bring that girlish charm throughout. So ideally, the film would want an adorable redhead who can sing to take on the role of Kim MacAfee. Maybe Bella Thorne could do it, she's certainly young enough to convincingly play a teenager (being a teenager and all). In a perfect world, they would somehow manage to get Emma Stone, though, and keep up that tradition of a teen being played by someone in their deep 20s. I'm kidding, because she's an Oscar nominated actor; but I'm also not, because Ann-Margret was legit 22.
But who even knows? Technically the 1963 adaptation had the very blonde Janet Leigh donning a dark wig and maybe a tan to play the Spanish Rosie. Casting a Latina like Lopez as Rosie is a smart, modern move that shows it's not the early late '50s/early '60s anymore, even though whitewashing is still prevalent in media. So maybe this re-imagining will take casting in a completely different direction than the technicolor-tactic film. Either way, I am comforted by the sole casting choice thus far, and hope that all the major players will be equally satisfying decisions.
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