“Philadelphia Story”: Ideal Casting

Jude_Law_at_TIFF2GwynethPaltrowSensuous_croppeddamon_mattBroadway’s Roundabout Theater Company has held a reading in L.A. of “The Philadelphia Story,” the 1939 Philip Barry play that became a 1940 movie starring Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and Jimmy Stewart. The Roundabout casting was, respectively, Scarlett Johansson, Jon Hamm, and John Krasinski. I have to say that this was decent casting, although the Hepburn character, Tracy Lord, is a Philadelphia blueblood and I wonder if Miss Scarlett, should the ensemble make it to Broadway, could dial down her sexpottiness. One of the many beauties of the movie was that the principals were all roughly the same age; in the musical version, “High Society,” we got Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra; Crosby was old enough to be the father, not the ex-husband, of Grace Kelly. Jon Hamm is 13 years older than Scarlett. My ideal casting, for Broadway and a movie remake, would be to reassemble the “Talented Mr. Ripley” gang: Gwyneth Paltrow (whose mother, Blythe Danner, was once a memorable stage Tracy), Jude Law, and Matt Damon. They’re all slightly older than the roles as written, but not as old as Bing.

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