season 3 premiere introduced a new and potentially
lucrative new storyline for the show. In addition to competing for
another chance at Nationals, McKinley is mounting a production of West Side Story
for the sole purpose of upping Rachel Berry's stage credits.
Obviously Rachel is desperate to take on the lead role of Maria, but is she the best option? There are quite a few strong female singers on Glee
, but sadly, West Side Story
doesn't have that many female roles. The guys can fight it out for Tony (though it seems like Blaine and Finn would be the two primary contenders for the role), but which Glee
gal should get the female lead role?
Let's look at the top contenders.Rachel
: She's always the lead and she has the drive to do anything, but of all the conceivable musicals she could've chosen, this one seems less suited to her particularly strengths than something that starred Barbra Streisand. Still, since it was Rachel's idea to do it in the first place, you have to assume she'll do anything and everything to land the lead role.Mercedes
: She's feeling "pretty," as she said in the premiere, but is this really a role for her? It doesn't quite fit her, so I'd see her as more of an Anita.Tina
: We already saw her sing a little West Side Story
back in season 1 when Mr. Schuester wanted to spread the love and give Tina a solo and she performed "Tonight," so we know she can do it. Her demure attitude also seems to fit better with the role than Rachel's aggressive personality, and if Glee
really wants to give some of the minor characters a chance to shine, letting Tina snag the lead role in the school musical would be a perfect way to do it.Santana
: If they want a real Latina to take on the role, there's no other option than for Santana to get back into the glee club's good graces by landing this role. The only problem is that Santana would need to soften up a whole lot to pull it off.
It seems to be Rachel's role to lose, but I personally think Tina would make the best Maria. I've seen enough community theater productions to know that, when there aren't enough Hispanic actors to fill out the Sharks, any and all minorities fill the roles (African-American, Asian, etc), so perhaps letting Tina play Maria with Mercedes as Anita would be the most appropriate casting decision. Of course if that happens, the entire purpose of Rachel trying to build up her stage credits will be undone by the fact that she doesn't get a big role.
And since the reason for doing this musical is that it's more wholesome and family friendly than The Rocky Horror Picture Show
, I'm not including the very unlikely but interesting idea that they could play with traditional gender roles and cast Blaine and Kurt as Tony and Maria (or Mario). He could easily pull off the role and it would be pretty great to watch, but I doubt Glee
would do it.
How would you cast West Side Story
at McKinley on Glee
?(Image courtesy of FOX)