Bitter stage stars out of tune with reality of life in TV

Alice Jones' Arts Diary

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The Independent Culture

Revenge is a dish best served up in song – if you’re a Broadway star.

Andrew Rannells, Megan Hilty and Laura Benanti stole the show at last week’s Tony Awards with a bitter musical homage to their television flops. With credits including The Book of Mormon, Wicked and Gypsy to their names, the three performers recently left the theatre for high-profile roles – Rannells in The New Normal, Hilty in Smash and Benanti in Go On – in TV shows which were all axed this year.

Their showstopper - including lyrics “You gotta have a series if you want a shot at fame”, and chorus “I like to be in a TV show” sung to the West Side Story tune, climaxed with Benanti (who also starred in The Playboy Club, which was cancelled after just three episodes in 2011), swigging from a bottle, belting out “Television sucks!”

The last word/ verse went to host Neil Patrick Harris, star of nine series of How I Met Your Mother who sang, “We can’t all have a long-running hit TV show like my own”. Very funny, but might the sight of three flops made flesh lead TV producers to think twice about putting stars of the stage on the small screen in future?

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