Way Off Broadway, episode 2: everyone is bummed out—except Dorothy and the Wicked Witch
Way Off Broadway, Episode 2
The cliffhanger of last week’s inaugural Way Off Broadway episode was exciting enough: who’s going to land a lead role? This instalment, then, can be summed up using a famous proverb from Russian actor/drama philosopher Konstantin Stanislavski: “Remember: there are no small parts, only small actors.” It’s a fitting sentiment when casting day comes along and all 21 hopefuls are reassembled in a Danforth church basement, but it’s also on our minds because it’s something director Sarina Condello keeps repeating (we get it, some people suck, but not really). We learn more about the hopefuls this week through Sarina’s person-by-person critiques, which amount to a mind-numbingly dull segment in which Sarina talks (and talks), suggesting she loves the sound of her own voice. That said, it’s casting day, which means there’s going to be one lucky Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow and Dorothy. Find out who’s playing what and who won the Least Brains award in our TV brief after the jump.
Our reward for listening to Sarina is getting to witness awkward “home visits” from family and friends who don’t seem to want to be on TV. First, we’re invited into Dorothy hopeful Rebecca’s pad for white wine and what feels like an unpleasant Cougar Town spin-off. Next stop, Michael M.’s parents’ house—he’s returning to the nest while he pursues a performing career after finishing a master’s degree in adult education. His mother is a total buzzkill, reducing Michael’s dream to “a diversion” from reality, but his dad is supportive and stands by his boy’s decision (ah, bless). Spoiler: Sarina dubs him a “triple-threat,” yet casts him as the lead flying monkey.
With a few backstories out of the way, Sarina teaches us about her process, declaring, “I don’t cast like an everyday director.” Okay. She doesn’t cast to the key strengths and/or talents of the group, choosing instead to mess with people’s psyches and get radical. Don’t fret, though, because Sarina has wild costume and role reinterpretation ideas to make the smaller actors stand out. Picture a “Michael Jackson crow” and Kiss-inspired flying monkeys. Fine, we concede, but these roles are chosen for good television, not for the good of the performance. We don’t like that one bit. Although most succeed at concealing their disappointment, it doesn’t go unnoticed. Now the real work—and resentment—begins.
LeeAnne, who deservedly won her “dream role.”
Harvey, the dentist who has played the Lion in at least two other Oz productions and has his own shrine in his office.
Jon, who deserves to be happy, if only to ease the resentment he feels for playing the “role of the first-born son of [his] Chinese parents.”
Sean, the 19-year-old who played the role at eight but who wanted to be cast as the Scarecrow because of his willowy body that sways in the wind.
Michael O., who thought he would make the perfect Tin Man because of his naturally rigid, robotic body movements.
Glinda the Good Witch of the North
Rebecca, who wanted to play Dorothy and is, we assume, sharpening a knife for LeeAnne’s back.
The Wicked Witch of the West
Sandra—whose cackle we liked last episode—jumps up and down, mad-happy, in contrast to everyone else’s disappointment and nerves.
Matt, restaurant manager and resident Aussie, says the truest thing: “I think you [Canadians] are a little more conservative than you think you are. Just FYI.”
Rick, the software exec cast as Dorothy’s Uncle, says he’s doing this show for a moment he can share with his children forever, and to inspire them to always take chances. We love you, Rick!
Sarina. We could be wrong, but it appears like she’s just serving her ego, instead of serving the big show. She publicly, and passive-aggressively, scolds Taz for her anxious behaviour and belittles Debi for her use of meditation to calm the group.
Taz is still acting like a middle-aged brat who hates “playing pretend,” and she unabashedly sits out during warm-up.
20 thoughts on “Way Off Broadway, episode 2: everyone is bummed out—except Dorothy and the Wicked Witch”
Just to clarify, Michael O is playing the lion (not Michael M) and I believe that Taz is a ‘she’. I hope that was a typo – she’s one of the most real people on there, even if she’s barfing neuroses all over the place.
Excited for episode 3!
All I can say is…. Taz is a woman.
Paul Aguirre-Livingston, did you actually watch Way Off Broadway? You know, the tv show you are being paid to critique?
I find it difficult to believe you watched it considering your referral to Taz as a male in two different places. (See your Ozzie awards for least courageous and fewest brains.)
Get it together ‘man’.
I would just like to clarify that Taz is a woman. Thank you.
Proof will be in the pudding! Gotta watch to see if Sarina pulls it off!
Uncle Henry is my favourite! Good thing he isn’t driving a car in the show, as he has a tendency of placing his wallet on the roof and driving off.
I bet the commenter “Petra” is actually Sarina!
P.s. Those “Cougar Town” girls were pretty foxy…
Hey there, Sarina here! Oh my goodness, if you don’t like me now you are really going to hate me later. Gotta say, I directed this show from a place of wanting to empower the troupe and at the same time create a fantastic and entertaining production! I have been doing this kind of teaching and directing for 20 years or more and this is my style. It is the way I roll. Sorry, if you don’t like it but here’s an opportunity to have some first hand experience: I invite you to join one of my production’s in the future. It’s all for a good cause, my charity THE BIG LITTLE CARAVAN OF JOY and this year we will be reaching First Nations’ children on remote First Nations’ reserves. Be a little easier on this gal; I work so hard to bring joy into the world! :) But you are funny!
Funny stuff. What I have to say to you, don’t knock it til you try it. One of the most amazing journeys one could have. Stay tuned…more excitment to come
Hey Paul… don’t be hatin’. Besides, who wants predictability? This is a CANADIAN show – and what a breath of fresh air!! A Canadian show that’s entertaining, unpredictable, fun and engaging. That’s entertainment. I think you’re just uncomfortable at the prospect of stepping into your child-nature.
OH! Paul!!! It looks like Sarina has invited you to get in touch with your creative expression! Dare ya!!
Hey.. who are you? No one out of Toronto has even heard of you, however I have heard of Sarina Condello. :)
I think you are pulling everyone’s leg and playing the devil’s advocate because you couldn’t possibly be that miserable and mean.
It seems no one so far agrees with your view. That speaks volumes.
I think this show is a bit of a breath of fresh air. It’s got really real people doing something I never would, (don’t even try Sarina!). It’s not a bunch of too-pretty people aided with scripts a la most reality shows.
Whoever the reviewer was I think he or she needs to lighten up and/or get cast in the next show then write another review from the perspective of a doer rather than a watcher.
This PE Islander suggests you love the sound of your own voice, Mr. Aguirre-Livingston. And I suspect it dulls in comparison to those of the talented (not to mention courageous!) folks performing their hearts out on WOB.
BRAVO, Sarina et al. I’m hooked!
Enjoyed the first two segments of the Show! Will be interesting to see how each of the characters ‘grow’ in their roles. Looking forward to episode #
Hey… This is Michael O from the show! Thanks everyone for the kind, supportive words, but let’s be sure to keep the comments lighthearted! The reviewer is entitled to his opinion, and I personally believe he’s been pretty fair so far. And he’s been funny too! Hopefully he reviews each episode and that it helps us build the audience we want and need! Keep watching folks – the show will only get more interesting…
I’m surprised by your aggression toward Sarina. She seemed like such a minor character in the overall episode. I felt it focused on the cast. I have no memory of Sarina droning on… Huh? All I saw of her was a director directing. I would like to get to know her back story like we got to know the casts. I think Taz needs to buck up and play. Everyone deserves the courageous reward for doing this. Bravo Bravo.
the to life has sure gone down a peg or two if it is hiring bumbling hosers like yer self…time to get a real job flipping burgers darlin’.
I love this show! Ordinary people attempting to acheive the extraordinary and have a shared experience-of-a-lifetime. It’s a better reality show than American Idol and Survivor! Just wish I could have been among the audience that saw the live show.
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