Although Kristen Bell rose to fame with the titular role in the WB cult teen private detective drama “Veronica Mars” in the early aughts, she had actually been performing for more than a decade already — in theater productions from “Raggedy Ann and Andy” to “The Wizard of Oz,” “Fiddler on the Roof” and the Broadway version of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” Now, Bell is bringing her love of theater to the small screen with “Encore,” a documentary style special she hosts and exec produces that follows one high school class, 20 years later, as they prepare to re-stage their senior class musical for a one-night only engagement.
“For me, just speaking personally, the theater community is kind of like the mom community,” Bell tells Variety. “When you know someone else has been through it, you just know them. You see them more clearly. You kind of have this wink and a smile, like, ‘Me, too.’ There’s a love amongst theater nerds that doesn’t exist anywhere else, so it was very easy to be let in by a group of people that I’d never met before because we shared this common ground.”
The team behind “Encore” accepted submissions from across the country to determine what high school class they should revisit. Bell feels they “lucked out” that the play happened to be “one of the hardest shows out there” — Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Tony-winning musical “Into the Woods” — but she notes that the text was secondary to the cast.
“We’re not as concerned with picking shows that currently have current cultural comment because musical theater isn’t street art that has to be zeitgeist or culturally relevant,” Bell says. “Musical theater is commenting on a time and a place sometimes that once was. So if you did some random or obscure show because that’s all your high school could afford the rights to, that’s OK. Still submit to the show!” [Source]
12 / 10 / 2017