Our heads are spinning in 180 degree turns over the news that Death Becomes Her is coming to Broadway.
Tony and Emmy winner Kristin Chenoweth has reportedly signed on to play the Madeline Ashton role — originated by Meryl Streep in the 1992 film — but we don’t know much more than that. The film, which won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects thanks to its eye-popping CGI, co-starred Goldie Hawn as Streep’s rival, Helen Sharp.
In the original movie’s twisty tale, Streep’s manipulative actress seduced the husband of Hawn’s writer, thus sending both along a path of mutual destruction. When the two outsized egos took a mysterious potion to regain their youth, they ended up with curses that subjected their bodies to horrific mutilations.
While the Chenoweth-starring musical will have to preserve that delicious cattiness — and the original screenplay’s endless quotability — it will also have to avoid the reductive sexism that fueled the divisive original. Written and directed by a trio of men, the film’s plot hinged on the notion that a woman would immediately have an incapacitating breakdown after being abandoned by her loser husband.
That being said: Which of Broadway’s beautiful singing actresses will play the narcissistic, sociopathic Goldie Hawn character? May we suggest Jane Krakowski, whom we already know can pull off a fat suit after seeing her in the second season of 30 Rock? (Krakowski also has a monopoly on the “Singing Blonde Narcissist Character” market.) Might we also suggest Audra McDonald, who can play a better diva than most? Or … bear with us .. What about Idina Menzel??? She’s stunning, she’s wicked, and she can fucking soar opposite Kristen Chenoweth. (We’re referring to her role opposite Chenoweth in the original Broadway cast of Wicked, btw.)
We’re also hoping that the song titles will include, “Tits Like Rocks,” “En Garde, Bitch,” and “Do You Remember Where You Parked the Car?,” the latter of which will obviously segue into a climactic number in which all of the lead actress’s severed body parts will dance around the stage thanks to the puppet choreography of Julie Taymor.