Photo: Aubrey Reuben
Over the years, I've heard wonderful stories about Miscast, the yearly benefit for MCC Theatre in which people perform songs they'd usually never get to sing. Highlights I heard about included Kristin Chenoweth and Harvey Fierstein playing Tevye (her) and Golde (him); Cheyenne Jackson singing "Can't Help Loving That Man of Mine"; and Kelli O'Hara, Brian d'Arcy James, and Steven Pasquale doing "Totally Fucked." Miscast has become the thing of legend. Unfortunately, this year's version will not add to the mystique, partially due to the painfully unbalanced miking, which was both unclear and too loud--a deadly combination.
Some of the performances: Kelli O'Hara sang a semi-operatic "This Nearly Was Mine" that I can't judge fairly since her high notes were so overamplified as to be hypersonic. Beth Leavel did a version of "I Am What I Am" in which no form of overacting was neglected. Norbert Leo Butz and Aaron Tveit competed in a "butt off" to see who looked better in their costume from the part in Wicked they both played, years apart. Alice Ripley sang "Epiphany" from Sweeney Todd. Raul Esparza provided a pretty impressive "Man Who Got Away." Steven Pasquale unleashed his amazing voice on "Free at Last" from Big River and "Maybe" from Annie (which he sang as an adult song of longing). Daniel Breaker was charming and funny doing "So Much Better" from Legally Blonde. Everything would have landed better with decent sound.