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Stage Door 'Cast This!' Edition: The Other Place

Ocassionally on Mondays or Tuesday's, we'll talk theater.

Do we have any fans of TV's historic sitcom "Roseanne" in the house? I ended up watching a couple of episodes the other day in syndication which happens to me probably once a year when I chance upon it -- it's hard to click away from. It was a double dose of Laurie Metcalf, Roseanne's sitcom sister Jackie, since I'd just seen her onstage anchoring the psychological drama "The Other Place" in which a brilliant neurologist's life begins to fall apart. Or... is it her life falling apart or (SLIGHT SPOILER) just her mind? That's the crux of the drama and it's a real actor's showcase of a play.

Metcalf won three Emmy Awards (and probably a lifetime supply of bank account) for her work on that famous sitcom but now she's aiming at a Tony. This is a juicy role -- the whole show would be a concave mess if the actress at its epienter couldn't keep it lively -- and I think she's definitely a threat come June for the statue. 

I enjoyed the play -- despite it feeling a bit small for the big stage --  but since I long for more intimate drama films that give actresses this much to work with, I already want to see it as a movie. So let's play...

"CAST THIS!" in the comments

Zoe Perry (Laurie Metcalf's daughter) & Laurie Metcalf in "The Other Place"

The Roles:
• Juliana Smithton, a neurologist who may or may not be lying to herself about all the drama in her life: her husband leaving her, her young daughter running away with her husband's colleague, and her own declining health. 
Who You Need: an actress in her 40s or 50s who can project real intelligence with weird snaps of emotional immaturity and possibly mental illness. 
The Woman who is several characters including an angry daughter, put upon assistant, and lonely divorcee.
Who You Need: an actress in her 20s or 30s to shapeshift for multiple characters, some actual characters some possibly only projections of actual people. Bonus points if she could believably be your lead's daughter. 

Theater Links To Go
20at20 Off Broadways shows for only $20 for next 20 days only
Playbill Frank Wildhorn's Jekyll & Hyde musical might be getting the big screen treatment. Ugh of all the stage musicals to adapt?! One that's of a story that's already had a bajillion film versions? Oops, that describes Les Miz too but at least Les Miz has the Les Miz music! This sounds more like a potential Phantom of the Opera problem.

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Reader Comments (38)

Since I don't think they would cast Metcalf herself, maybe they could go with Lisa Kudrow and Heather Morris for the woman?

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFernando Moss

I don't know why Metcalf hasn't won more film roles. Her work on Rosanne was brilliant. She could do more with a look than most comic actresses on television. She had an interesting part in the Richard Gere starrer Internal Affairs. Pretty intriguing performance.

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

To go the obvious route... Julianne Moore and Jessica Chastain.

The former for her well-documented ability to portray characters on the edge/struggling to hold it together. Plus The Kids Are All Right showed she has the combination of intelligence and immaturity down pat.

The latter for her well-documented chameleonic abilities onscreen. Given the breadth and diversity of her characters and characterizations in just the past two years, she could believably channel multiple characters within the confines of the same film. Plus, she's a redhead. (possibly slightly too old to play Moore's daughter?)

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRJ

What trickery; I excitedly thought this was a casting call for "Roseanne: the Movie." Why must you taunt me?

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTim

Alfre Woodard and Kerry Washington just because I need bot those women to get some juicy roles to sink their teeth into.

Or...Annette Bening and Abbie Cornish. Although I'm not sure if they're believable mother and daughter...

Or...Emma Thompson and Carey Mulligan. Because an "An Education" reunion is never a bad thing.

(I love Laurie, but I'd so love to have seen Baranski in this on the stage. She needs a Third Tony, says I.)

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew K.

Im all for Julianne & Jessica (Just saw Zero Dark Thirty, got some issue with the movie but she's fantastic in it)

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterstjeans

I have nothing to say about the theater or the play, but since you are asking if there are any fans of the show "Roseanne" here, well I guess I grew up watching the show more or less, so yeah! And Laurie Metcalf is great!

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDominik

Big fan of Roseanne here! I don't know why it's not as talked about today as other series. It was f***** great, and Laurie Metcalf was just the best in show. I would've never thought some of the young actors would have adult careers, particularly the one in The View is so.... unexpected and far from her character.

I must confess sometimes I look at the opening in youtube to listen to the wonderful opening theme.

I'd go with Laura Linney and Amanda Seyfried for the movie version, because they''re obviously far more bankable than Laurie Metcalf...

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

Call me Garry Marshall, but Julia Roberts and Anne Hathaway.

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKeegan

Pfieffer and Chastain.

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Pfeiffer and Chastain.

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Real intelligence? Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart for some sexual ambiguity.

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Christine Lahti and Alison Lohman

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Metcalf (Reprise) and Jennifer Lawrence or Alison Lohman.

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoel V

How good was she in Scream 2 tho

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Laura Dern and Claire Danes.
Holly Hunter and Anna Paquin.

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

I SO got it:

Mary-Louise Parker
Mary Elizabeth Winstead

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterG.ShaQ

Michelle Pfeiffer and Rosamund Pike

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertee

People, we all know where this is going: as soon as Meryl Streep sets her eyes on the play it's going to be her and Mamie Gummer doing this characters, no matter how wrong they are for the parts.

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVictor S

- Maria Bello & Evan Rachel Wood
- Kristin Scott Thomas & Natalie Portman
- Holly Hunter & Rachel McAdams

...I tried to come up with some interesting combos and stay away from the usual suspects (ie: Kidman and Moore).

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

Michelle Pfeiffer and Elle Fanning
Leslie Manville and Keira Knightley

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

Sounds also like a good premise for TV dramedy. With, say, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Alison Brie? As for the movie, Jessica Lange and Michelle Williams.

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpockets full of stones

How about a reunion between Holly Hunter and Evan Rachel Wood?

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

Sad Man -- OOOOH. i like it.

GShaq -- okay. that's interesting. but mary louise parker reads pretty young to me to be paired with mary e (although i like the pairing!)

3rtful -- PFEIFFER. ugh. if only she did challenging stuff like this (sigh)

brookesboy -- i have only vague recollections of that movie but i do remember that Metcalf got really strong reviews for it and it did seem like a film career -- at least a supporting film career - might happen.

January 22, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I thought Metcalf was outstanding in this. Would be nice to see her win a Tony...but don't count those chickens, since Fiona Shaw's a 'coming.

I could see Tilda Swinton rocking this part onscreen. It might be a little awkward for the purposes of film to have a single actress play all three younger roles, but I could see Jennifer Lawrence pulling it off.

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJosh R

Craig: If we're going British Leslie Manville and Katie Jarvis? Two reasons: 1. Keira Knightley as an angry daughter? I get that she's done more, but I don't quite see her as the beet red histrionics kind of performer. 2. It'll be really pathetic if, five years from now, no one's thought to use Katie Jarvis for anything. It's kind of sad as is. It's like if Dustin Hoffman appeared in The Graduate and instead of his big career, he just went unused and got rusty.

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Juliana Smithton: NICOLE KIDMAN (obvious! she CAN BE anyone!)
The Woman: Kirsten Dunst

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEd

Huuuuge fan of Roseanne!

Doesn't that role sound ideal for Julianne Moore? Or even Michelle Pfeiffer?

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

@Philip: absolutely. OMG I was wondering what she ever did on the big screen yesterday, how did it not come to my mind?

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDominik

I second the Dern and Moore suggestions. I'd throw Tilda in the mix of possibilities.
No idea about the younger woman.

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

Juliana: Anne Heche
The Woman: ummmmmmmm... I have no clue. Mila Kunis? Just because I like her and want to see her challenge herself more? And she was so good in Black Swan.

How about some REVENGE on the big screen? Madeline Stowe as Juliana and Emily Van Camp as the Woman would be ON FIRE.

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

Loooooved "Roseanne!" One of my favorite, if not my all-time favorite, shows. And, of course, Metcalf was brilliant. The episode where their father dies is not only a wonderful episode but is an amazing showcase of Metcalf's talents.

I don't know that I have any new ideas for this casting but I love the Dern/Danes combo. And it would be fantastic to see Pfeiffer on stage.

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

Bening vs Winslet.

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermark

Maybe Robin Wright? I haven't seen too much of her work and I'm not in any way a huge fan but I find her to be such an intriguing, if not underutilized and thus under-challenged, actress with such a calm, naturalistic screen presence. She may not be the obvious choice for a role like this but surely a project like this would be a step up from the sidelined, transparent women she's too often saddled with. I'd love to see her un-typecast, and surely this is the only way she could ever score that first Oscar nom.

Also, just about any young actress could convincingly play her daughter, i.e. J. Law, Amanda Seyfried, Blake Lively, etc.

Other than that can someone PLEASE give Toni Collette a dynamite role ASAP and save her from having her immense talents squandered on a JERRY BRUCKHEIMER TV series!? Someone needs to make this happen already. She'd be AMAZING in this.

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew

Tilda Swinton & Andrea Riseborough. Riseborough is a bit of a current obsession for me. Extremely versatile.

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterchoog

If we're allowed to go older, I'd recommend a Grey Gardens reunion--Ms. Lange and Ms. Barrymore.

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

brookesboy - awwww. they were really good together

choog -- totally (on riseborough's versatility)

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

Annette Bening and Claire Danes.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVinicius

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