BroadwayCon 2019 has come and gone, and it was an infinitely better experience for me this year than in 2018. But after all the panels and fun and cosplay, I’m drained and tired and just want to rest up before my spring semester at Marymount Manhattan begins. So what better way to relax after a weekend running around the Hilton Midtown in go-go boots dressed as Karen the Computer than play some Super Smash Bros. Ultimate?
I’ve been playing Super Smash Bros. since I was in elementary school, and the latest installment for the Nintendo Switch has every character from every Smash Bros. game playable. As I’ve been playing Smash lately, I’ve gotten to think - if Broadway actors were Super Smash Bros. characters, who would they be, and why? So, I’m using this short and silly article to let my con-crud-afflicted brain decide what Broadway stars are perfect for this fighting game’s massive roster.
First, I’ll cast my main in the game. My main in Ultimate is Lucas, from Mother 3. Rather obviously, I’d make his Broadway counterpart be Lucas Steele from Great Comet. Both are from “nowhere” (Steele is from rural Pennsylvania; Mother 3 from Tazmily Village), both have swoopy short blonde hair, and both are very shy but absolutely full of magical power (Steele with his stunning falsetto and charisma; Mother 3 with literal PK psychic powers).
Now, I’ll cast some more iconic fighters from the series. If I had to pick one actor to be Super Mario, I’d have to go with Brian d’Arcy James: though he doesn’t always sport a mustache, he’s a lovable and dependable leading man. Donkey Kong would have to be the Kong puppet from King Kong the musical: pretty much just a giant gorilla capable of punching the daylights out of you, but there’s something about him that is absolutely lovable. Ness from EarthBound is Anthony Rosenthal from Falsettos: ostensibly a normal suburban kid, but he’s pretty darn good with a baseball bat. Princess Peach is Megan Hilty, and Princess Daisy is Annaleigh Ashford: Hilty’s a blonde bombshell and has played Glinda (the closest character to Peach in a musical that I know of), and Ashford is a former Glinda as well but has taken on some quirkier roles (like Sylvia the dog) that fit with Daisy’s spunkier attitude. Pichu, Pikachu’s pre-evolution, is Kristin Chenoweth: absolutely tiny but capable of devastating top-tier power! And Laura Benanti is my dream woman, so therefore she has to be Bayonetta, my favorite video game girl and my other main: an immensely powerful and sexy witch who uses her magic hair to fight, and doesn’t wear a ton of clothing (like Gypsy Rose Lee)!
Lastly, as a fun bit of extra inspiration for this listicle, I asked some friends on Facebook who they’d cast as Smash Bros. characters. My friend Clayton suggested Rob McClure as Mr. Game and Watch, though I’d also throw Pac-Man in as an alternate: McClure knows a thing or two about being retro (thanks to his Tony nominated performance as Charlie Chaplin) and he’s got delightful comic timing. Funniest of all the suggestions I received was from Allison Frasca, creator of All Star the Musical, suggesting Patti LuPone as Bowser. Upon asking why, she responded with “she’s immensely powerful, and probably kidnaps all the princesses Brian d’Arcy James has to save.” Can’t argue with something that makes me laugh.
The roster for Smash Bros. is huge, so if you have your own ideas for which Broadway stars would be the best fit for these iconic characters, let us know in the comments!
(Image from Nintendo)