Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

From Broadway to Screen, Some Stars Are Left Behind

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

From Broadway to Screen, Some Stars Are Left Behind

Article excerpt

Broadway welcomes Hollywood stars with open arms and dollar signs in its sights, but it hasn't always worked the other way around. Musicals are particularly tricky, requiring special skill sets. Sometimes, it's about moviemakers' images of beauty and name recognition; most times, it's about timing.

For every movie version of a musical like "The Producers," which grabbed Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick from the stage, there's a "Rock of Ages," which gives Tony-nominated star Constantine Maroulis a cameo that can be measured in seconds while granting Diego Boneta, best known for TV's "90210," a potential star-making turn.

As Drew, who dreams of hair band success, Mr. Maroulis played the lead on Broadway and in the national tour that came through Pittsburgh last year. But the "American Idol" finalist is 35 and Mr. Boneta is 21, more of a rock-idol-in-the-making age and perhaps a better onscreen match for 23-year-old co-star Julianne Hough.

"I have a philosophy about casting, and I want people to be able to play as close to the movie's truth as possible. ... I try to be as age exact as possible," director Adam Shankman told Lyndsey Parker of Yahoo's Reality Rocks.

"Rock of Ages" is still on Broadway as the movie makes its way onto screens, with Tom Cruise bringing a heavy dose of star power to the proceeding.

The upcoming movie of "Les Miserables" comes 25 years after the Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil musical triumphed in London and New York. The filmmakers, though, have not forgotten the brilliant performance of Colm Wilkinson as Jean Valjean. Now approaching 70, he gives way to Hugh Jackman but will play the more age-appropriate role of Bishop of Digne. Amid the star-studded cast, including Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway, relative newcomer Samantha Barks reprises her concert role as Eponine.

In 2005, Chris Columbus followed up directing the first two films in the Harry Potter series by taking the original cast of "Rent" from Broadway to the big screen (with the singular exception of Rosario Dawson replacing Daphne Rubin-Vega as Mimi). Adam Pascal, who starred as Roger, was in Pittsburgh for a "Rent" tour in 2009, when he talked about how the movie had brought a new wave of fans to the stage version of "Rent. …

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