Vanessa Williams – who is currently appearing on Broadway in Sondheim on Sondheim – has landed a role in Desperate Housewives.
It’ll be great for that show and Williams is certain to be great in it, but it’s a pity that Williams couldn’t sink her teeth into a real musical following her star turn in a revue whose main attraction is the video interviews with Stephen Sondheim that frame the evening’s entertainment.
No, it isn’t, David. I saw her in Sondheim on Sondheim. She was all right. Nothing special. Kritzer and Mackey both blew her out of the water, and unfortunately, had so much less to do in comparison.
It was really funny. I went to Broadway Bares for the first time and Vanessa Williams was in the opening number. Later in the show they did a spoof on Desperate Housewives and I was surprised she would associate with bashing a show that just cast her.
Jordan, it is a pity. Williams was by all accounts simply phenomenal in Kiss of the Spider Woman, a role which allowed her to showcase her talents properly. Certainly, she was miscast in Into the Woods, but it is clear that she has a great deal to offer when the vehicle is right for her, something which is clear from her performances of the songs she was given in Sondheim on Sondheim.
As a woman in her late 40s, she’s really not at the same stage in her career as either Leslie Kritzer or Erin Mackey, both of whom really still need to prove themselves as actresses who can carry a show successfully. Now, I believe that Kritzer in particular is just waiting for the right vehicle to propel her to stardom. She was one of the high points of A Catered Affair and someone should probably just mount the much hoped for revival of Merrily We Roll Along or a revival of Funny Girl with her in the starring role so that she can make her mark.
Even so, I still have enough perspective to see that Williams would be super in a real musical on Broadway, one that is suited to her talents, rather than being stuck in a revue that was more interesting and noteworthy for its use of multimedia, with the interviews with Sondheim at the fore of that aspect of the production, than for any of its performances. Wishing that kind of success for her takes nothing away from younger actresses like Kritzer and Mackey, so why begrudge her something that could potentially be as entertaining for musical theatre audiences as it would be a good box office move for the producers – especially when it’s all hypothetical anyway and something of a moot point because of her upcoming role in Desperate Housewives.