Based on the Tennessee Williams Pulitzer Prize winning play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opens Jan. 17, following nearly a month of previews. The star? Scarlett Johansson.
It’s not her first time venturing onstage, as her role in the 2010 revival of Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge garnered Johansson some of her best acting reviews to date. She's also been in a number of films, including her role as Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff in "Iron Man 2" and "The Avengers," a character she’s slated to revive in several other Marvel films. Just a day in the life, I guess.
In Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Johansson plays Maggie — the gorgeous heroine, a hard woman, who’s seductive and calculating. Sound familiar? Natasha Romanoff, Black Widow, is famously beautiful, smart, heroic, and often uses her deliriously good looks to get what she wants.
So if Maggie the Cat is a suitable, even appropriate, role for Black Widow, what about the other Avengers? What would they play if they starred on Broadway?
Obviously The Hulk would star in Shrek. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Aside from that whole green-skin thing, the two are enormous, have thick eyebrows, huge hands, and wear weird pants (Shrek dons some sort of tights/leggings hybrid, while The Hulk rocks some cut-off purple pants he probably brought for an absurd amount of money at Hollister or Abercrombie & Fitch). Sure, Hulk couldn't actually deliver any of Shrek’s lines, but he’d definitely capture that whole menacing-and-angry aura. For the sappy parts, The Hulk could just gaze off into the distance or possibly transform into Bruce Banner. It could work. Other options for The Hulk include Jekyll and Hyde, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Stomp, or maybe even Wicked (green and misunderstood, anyone?). I see a very lucrative Broadway career in Hulk’s future.
While it’s true Thor doesn't know much about this realm since he comes from the far-off land of Asgard, he has his good looks going for him. Thor is pretty. Very pretty. And he’s really awesome at swinging around that hammer. It makes me think he’d do well in the lead role for Rock of Ages — aside from resembling a model for Vogue, he gives off that arrogant and totally-into-himself rockstar vibe. Then there’s the hair. That shiny, long, luscious hair that’s so beautiful it makes the women in Herbal Essences commercials jealous. Imagine him slinging that around onstage? Just replace the mystical hammer with a guitar and you’re good to go.
Tony Stark doesn't play by the rules. He wouldn’t be down to just slide into a role that someone else had created; he’d want a character, and a play, specifically tailored to him. And, because he’s a billionaire, it would happen. If Tony Stark were real, once he found out about the existence of Robert Downey Jr., he’d immediately contract someone to write an over-the-top, moving story of RDJ’s life (actually, he’d tell Pepper Potts to take care of the specifics). The show would have all of the important elements (to Tony Stark): money, drugs, charm, delusions of grandeur, attention-seeking behavior, and a moving story of how RDJ overcame rehab and jail to become a wildly successful and beloved actor (because Tony Stark is secretly a softie). Mostly, Tony Stark would use the play as an opportunity to make out with pretty ladies on stage because I’m sure RDJ went through that phase in his life.
Captain America would totally be in Jersey Boys. Think about it: Frankie Valli was this All-American, super-wholesome front-man for a pop group called The Four Seasons. He stood out because of his unusually powerful falsetto voice. Captain America was this All-American, super-wholesome front-man for America. Period. He stood out because he could throw that disc like nobody’s business and he was really good looking. Also, I mean, I guess he was determined and courageous and overcame things, but whatever. The point is, I can see Captain America singing "Big Girls Don’t Cry" and causing girls across America to swoon. It’s not really all that different from what he does now.
Although Robin Hood has never had a big Broadway run, it has been performed on stage a few times, and I think Hawkeye in the lead role would seal this production’s fate as a Broadway smash. First of all, the two both rock bow and arrows. Robin Hood is also a great swordsman (Hawkeye can hold his own in hand-to-hand combat), he’s assisted by a group of fellow outlaws (um, hello other Avengers), and he has two names that are just words put together (Robin Hood, Hawk Eye). Hawkeye is also kind of broody, and Robin Hood had this edge to him. He was stealing, after all, even if it was to give to the poor.
Nick Fury could be Daddy Warbucks in Annie. I know, I know, but just stay with me on this one, okay? First off, both Daddy Warbucks and Nick Fury are bald. Daddy Warbucks is a billionaire businessman. Nick Fury probably has a lot of money, and he’s obviously in the business of keeping the world safe and making awesome superhero groups. That arguably makes him a businessman. Daddy Warbucks has a hard heart. Nick Fury also doesn't mess around. He didn't even cry when (spoiler alert) Agent Coulson died. Do you hear me? Nick Fury didn't cry when Agent Coulson died. That is some really callous stuff right there. Daddy Warbucks is reluctant to let Annie into his home, and even more reluctant to let her into his heart. Nick Fury is reluctant that this Avengers ensemble will work, and he certainly isn't interested in getting attached to that motley crew. But guess what? They all live happily ever after. If all else fails, Nick Fury could always play Cyclops. They both have one eye. Sorry, is that mean? I feel like that’s mean. Oh well.
Would you cast any of the Avengers differently? What shows would you like to see them star in? (P.S. Yes, I know the Avengers aren’t real. …Or are they?)