Rumor has it that Beyonce aka Beyonce Knowles (when she's acting) is in talks with Disney to play the title role in the film version of the Elton John and Tim Rice musical Aida. I'm going to attempt not to make this one of those Beyonce hater posts because I think Clay Cane does such a good job when it comes to reading Ms. Knowles, but when I heard this news I wanted to personally shake all of the Disney executives involved in this decision. I swear I love Beyonce on most days but it's too much to even think about her playing the role that won Heather Headley a Tony award for her performance as Aida on broadway.
I was fortunate enough to witness Heather Headley perform the role on stage every night on broadway when I sold t-shirts and mugs at the Palace Theater as a broke college student when I lived in New York, and not only must the actress playing Aida having an amazing voice but serious acting chops.
I have to say Beyonce has impressed me over the years with her vocal range but her acting is beyond questionable. It's obvious that this decision is not based on artistict merit but Disney's bottom line and although this is the nature of the business it makes me sick. Basically Beyonce is a pretty face with a big name that is sure to attract major consumer dollars. Nevermind there's hundreds of talented actors that may be more deserving of the role, has Disney forgotten about Heather Headley, Deborah Cox, and even the forgotten Destiny Child's member Michelle Wiliams who also played the role on broadway?
It seems Beyonce is determined to secure her Oscar nomination and win before she turns 30. If winning an Oscar will get this workaholic to take a much needed break then I say give it to her, just not for her performance in Aida ! I have an ill feeling that around this time next year we will be bombarded with Disney promos starring Ms. Knowles as Aida and all we will have left is the original cast album and youtube videos of Heather Headley executing what Ms. Knowles will surely fall short of.