Jennifer Lopez is a star and she requires a star to play off of in the upcoming NBC rendition of ‘Bye Bye Birdie Live!’ While names like Neil Patrick Harris and John Stamos have a wow factor they could bring to the role of Albert Peterson, there is always the safe approach. And nobody is safer for musical comedy than Matthew Broderick.
Producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan have an established relationship with Broderick. They produced a very successful 2003 television movie version of ‘The Music Man’ featuring Broderick in the title role.
Broderick was a brave choice by Meron and Zadan, who needed someone that could be true to the expectations of an audience who has grown up on the family-friendly musical.
Boderick can sing, dance, and act. He’s affable and non-threatening. He could conceivably capture the happy-go-lucky, nice-guy elements Dick Van Dyke brought to the original Broadway production and to the 1963 film.
Like Neil Patrick Harris, Broderick grew up on display in film, television, and theatrical ventures. He played Leo Bloom in ‘The Producers’ on Broadway and successfully translated his performance to film audiences. He has won two Tony Awards, one for Best Featured Actor in a Play for ‘Brighten Beach Memoirs’ (1983) and one for Best Actor in a Musical for ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’ (1995). He also voiced Simba in the animated Disney classic ‘Lion King.’
Broderick is truly in a class by himself when it comes to song and dance. His would be an entertaining interpretation of Albert.