As Jennifer Lopez prepares to star in and produce NBC’s ‘Bye Bye Birdie Live!’, high on her list is the selection of the supporting cast.
Dick Van Dyke won a Tony Award for originating the role of Albert Peterson – the manager of Elvis-like Rockstar Conrad Birdie and reprised the role in the 1963 film.
Jason Alexander did a unique interpretation of the role in a 1995 ABC television movie.
The key to the role is to be handsome but in a nonthreatening way. The actor has to have a subtle sense of humor and an inherent need to please. And, in the JLo production he will need to have the charisma to not drown in the shadow cast by his leading lady.
Neil Patrick Harris has many of the qualities needed to make a successful Albert opposite JLo.
Harris is an attractive man, not overly handsome but not one you would kick out of bed. He also has an inherent charm to his demeanor.
He has the acting chops – which he’s been proving to international audiences since he was a child. He’s won an Emmy and a Tony, representing the level of quality he possesses as both an actor and a singer.
Plus, Harris is in the right age range to play opposite JLo as a believable couple.
Overall it’s a casting choice that could work.