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Sunday, October 21, 2012

[NEWS] Halloween Treat! Patti LuPone, Da’Vine Joy Randolph and More Lead Our Dream Cast for Hocus Pocus: The Musical

Halloween is just around the corner, and while there are no shortage of horror movies and thrillers to commemorate the holiday, the candy-filled night means only one thing for children of the ‘90s: Hocus Pocus. The 1993 film starred Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker as the Sanderson sisters, three witches that rise from the dead one Halloween night to wreak havoc (and do a big musical number) in small-town Salem, Massachusetts. As we get ready for the upcoming spooky holiday, we couldn’t help but fantasize about which Broadway actors we’d love to see if Hocus Pocus became a musical. Below are our dream picks for the cast.

Patti LuPone as Winifred 'Winnie' Sanderson (played onscreen by Bette Midler)
Two-time Tony winner Patti LuPone is the only actress wickedly funny enough to star as Winifred Sanderson in the musical Hocus Pocus. The evil witch, hell-bent on eternal youth, was played brilliantly in the film by Bette Midler, but we are sure LuPone would breath new life into this campy character. Wouldn’t it be worth the price of admission just to hear her sing “I Put a Spell On You?”

Da’Vine Joy Randolph as Mary Sanderson (played onscreen by Kathy Najimy)
Tony nominee Da’Vine Joy Randolph has experience providing comic relief in the special effects-heavy Broadway musical Ghost. As Mary Sanderson, she can sniff out the children of Salem in a big solo number…and to be honest, we just want to see her fly on a vacuum.

Annaleigh Ashford as Sarah Sanderson (played onscreen by Sarah Jessica Parker)
Adorable stage fave Annaleigh Ashford has played a few bubbleheaded blondes in her career, but none would be as hilarious as the ditzy witch originated onscreen by Sarah Jessica Parker. Ashford would bring charm and superb comic timing to the littlest Sanderson sister, as well as a killer belt.

Corey Cott as Max Dennison (played onscreen by Omri Katz)
Newsies leading man and video blogger, Corey Cott is our choice for the film’s virgin hero Max Dennison. After the non-believing high school student resurrects the Sanderson sisters, it becomes his mission to keep all the town’s children, especially his little sister Dani, safe. Cott has a face you can trust, pipes that impress and experience carrying a Disney musical on his shoulders.

Emily Rosenfeld as Dani Dennison (played onscreen by Thora Birch)
We fell in love with little Emily Rosenfeld the minute we met the young Annie player (she plays wee orphan Molly), and lucky for us, Hocus Pocus has a part that's just right for the pint-sized diva. As high-maintenance eight-year-old Dani, we're confident that Rosenfeld would steal the spotlight from everyone she shares it with—including Miss LuPone herself.

Molly Ranson as Allison (played onscreen by Vinessa Shaw)
The former Carrie is our first choice for the show's leading love interest, Allison, who feels the heat with Max (Cott) throughout the show. How about a big power ballad for the golden-voiced Molly Ranson? We know she can handle the show's witchy nature; plus, she's got plenty of experience with the supernatural.

John Gallagher Jr. as Thackery Binx (played onscreen by Sean Murray)
Though he doesn't make his appearance as a human throughout most of the show (spoiler alert from 1993!), Tony winner John Gallagher Jr. would make for a dashingly handsome 17th century boy—and one hilarious cat. Can't you just imagine JGJ's voice emanating from an animatronic black cat who narrates the show? He won't even have to leave his Newsroom desk!

Andy Karl as Billy Butcherson (played onscreen by Doug Jones)
Remember this about Billy Butcherson: the newly risen zombie had a love affair with Winifred over 300 years ago, and she's still hung up on him. LuPone would cause fireworks with the charming Andy Karl, who seems to have the swagger to romance an older woman and then shamelessly hook up with her hot blonde sister.

Dick Latessa as the Devil (played onscreen by Garry Marshall)
The Sanderson sisters’ Halloween adventures lead them into the home of a suburban husband and wife, who the ladies mistake as their “master” Satan and his wife, Medusa. To follow up Garry Marshall’s endearing yet comical turn, we chose Tony winner Dick Latessa. Latessa is always good for a laugh, and anyone who saw last season’s comedy The Lyons knows this actor continues to get better with age.

Jackie Hoffman as The Master’s Wife (played onscreen by Penny Marshall)
Only the Meryl Streep of comedic scene-stealers, Jackie Hoffman, could play the drinking-smoking-no-nonsense role of the Master’s Wife, whom the witches believe to be Medusa (because of the rollers in her hair). The character may only have one scene, but when has Hoffman needed more than that to steal a show?

Check out the video below and just imagine Patti, Da'Vine and Annaleigh performing  Hocus Pocus' big number "I Put a Spell On You." Happy Halloween!

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