George Bluth Sr. – Richard Kind
Richard Kind can be really scary, as when he’s bellowing at Bobby Cannavale in The Big Knife. Simultaneously, however, he always comes off as a bit of a lovable schmuck. Incidentally, that’s also the perfect description of George Bluth Sr., a guy who keeps his fortune hidden in the walls of his frozen banana stand and is wont to physically shake anyone who doesn’t understand veiled hints about the location of his wealth.
Lucille Bluth – Jessica Walter
Lucille Bluth is narcissistic, manipulative, and beautiful. The model of maternal disappointment, she’d rather sell her children than look at them. After giving the matter extensive thought, we’ve come to the conclusion that no other actress could make her onstage children feel as bad about themselves as Jessica Walter. And isn’t that what motherhood is all about? Plus, she has an extensive Broadway résumé already, so she’ll stay Lucille.
Michael Bluth – Rob Lowe
From The West Wing to Parks and Recreation, Rob Lowe has proven his versatility. He even sang and danced as an Oscars host in 1989. It’s about time for a Broadway debut. We literally (litchruhly) think this would be a good choice.
Gob Bluth – Norbert Leo Butz
If you saw Dead Accounts, you know that Norbert Leo Butz has enough manic energy to bounce around the stage to “The Final Countdown” on replay for hours on end. Also, can you imagine how funny it would be to see him puppeteering Franklin Delano Bluth, Carnival style?
Buster Bluth – Bertie Carvel
Bertie Carvel is a master chameleon (he’s currently playing a middle-aged school marm in Matilda on Broadway), so we’re not at all worried about putting this dashing Brit in the role of one-handed socially-awkward-military-failure-with-a-glaring-Oedipal-complex. As a plus, Carvel and Buster are both super-sensitive and make great arm candy for Liza Minnelli.
Lindsay Bluth Fünke – Lily Rabe
Whether she’s playing a Shakespearean heroine disguised as a man or a sexy nun possessed by the devil, Lily Rabe has proven that she can do just about everything — and with a sarcastic, Katherine Hepburn purr. What’s better for the pretty, self-centered Lindsay Bluth?
Tobias Fünke – Cheyenne Jackson
Cheyenne Jackson is an outside the box choice for Dr. Tobias Fünke. He looks nothing like David Cross: He’s tall, he’s muscular, he’s dashing, he can sing…but if you saw him in Xanadu, you know he totally has the gams to pull off the never-nude jean shorts. And, well, we just want to stare at his legs for two hours.
George-Michael Bluth – Adam Chanler-Berat
Is there another young actor today who does boy-man as well as Next to Normal and Peter and the Starcatcher star Adam Chanler-Berat? In these two productions, Chanler-Berat displayed his knack for playing bewildered innocence with a hint of underlying melancholy, perfect for the role as originated by Michael Cera. Especially if he can convince his Starcatcher costar Celia Keenan-Bolger to play Ann.
Maeby Fünke – Jennifer Damiano
Need an angsty teen? Call 1-800-Damiano. With Broadway credits like Spring Awakening, Next to Normal, and Spider-Man, no one can capture the spirit of a troubled teenage girl better than she. Audiences will also be keener to root for some cousin love if it means seeing a Berat-Damiano Next to Normal reunion.
Lucille Austero – Liza Minnelli
It’s official, the Lucilles are irreplaceable. Lucille Austero, better known as Lucille 2 and best known as Liza Minnelli, is Lucille Bluth’s sometime best friend, her son Buster Bluth’s sometime lover, and, more often than not, Buster’s stand-in mother figure. There’s no one who can wear so many hats (or take a vertigo-induced fall over a chair) so elegantly as the great Liza Minnelli.
Kitty Sanchez – Kate Wetherhead
Not only is Wetherhead a Judy Greer doppelganger, she is already starring in her own Arrested Development-esque series, Submissions Only, on YouTube. She also has the naturally squeaky voice, essential to the accurate portrayal of any sociopath. That’s something that just can’t be taught.
Steve Holt – Billy Magnussen
Read his reaction to his Tony Award nomination and you’ll understand. (Teaser: It begins with “Ahhhh, my dog is eating this thing.”)
Stan Sitwell – Tom Hanks
Who wouldn’t want to get an inspirational pep talk from Broadway’s nicest celebrity, Tom Hanks? Only Hanks can capture that Sitwell charm — the kind that can coax a company softball game-winning hit out of any Bluth boy. And when he’s done with Lucky Guy, he can just move that mustache right on up to his eyebrows.
Barry Zuckerkorn – Nathan Lane
Nathan Lane is the perfect casting choice for less-than-apt lawyer-to-the-Bluths Barry Zuckerkorn. We know he’s busy with eight shows a week in The Nance on Broadway, so we didn’t want to make him a principle. But when we imagine Lane’s deadpan delivery of the line “This close, they always look like landscape. But nope, you’re looking at balls,” well, we couldn’t not cast him.
Stair Car – Hands on a Hardbody truck
If Arrested Development has a main character, it’s probably the Stair Car. Metaphorically, each member of Bluth family always has a hand on the Stair Car, while each Hands on a Hardbody central cast member is actually keeping their hand on the Hands on a Hardbody truck. Looks like that truck found its niche.
Images courtesy of Kelley L. Smith.