Even lofty scribes like to have fun with celebrities.
Witness the casting suggestions by Ben Brantley, the chief drama critic of The New York Times – who, in his imagination at least, is offering some plum roles to stars whose reputations could use a little polishing.
Lady Gaga as Auntie Mame, anyone?
Not that Gaga needs the work. And, admittedly, Brantley finds her a bit too young to play everyone’s favorite madcap relative. But what about parts for the under-employed Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen?
The critic can easily picture Lohan in the Marilyn Monroe role in Finishing the Picture, a 2004 drama by Monroe’s one-time husband, Death of a Salesmanplaywright Arthur Miller, about the making of the movie The Misfits (Monroe’s last, from a script by Miller).
Brantley says that if Lohan can’t handle eight performances a week, thenParis Hilton could sub for her at matinees.
Sheen, meanwhile, would be perfectly cast in British playwright John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger, according to Brantley – if the production of the “Angry Young Man” drama took place 10 or 15 years ago. Surely the marquee would say it all.
Just as he is, Mel Gibson has a spot ready on the Great White Way, though perhaps Brantley isn’t really taking into account the largely liberal leaning of a New York ticket-buying audience. Even so, Brantley can see the former screen Hamlet now playing another Shakespeare lead, namely “the bloody avenger named Tutus Andronicus.”
Times readers, too, have joined in his game. Our favorite proposition, besides Arnold Schwarzenegger in Shaw’s Philanderer? Writes someone named Brian, from Philadelphia: “Gary Busey, The Elephant Man.”
BY STEPHEN M. SILVERMAN