It’s really happening. Thanks to The Unauthorized O.C. Musical, brought to you by the creators of the Cruel Intentions: The Musical, Ryan Atwood has finally completed his journey from the streets of Chino … to the Los Angeles stage.
For one night only on Aug. 30, The Unauthorized O.C. Musical will take over The Federal Bar in Los Angeles, where co-creators Jordan Ross and Lindsey Rosin have worked to incorporate the many memorable music moments of the show into a re-imagining of the Fox show’s pilot.
“We both really loved the television show. It’s the voice of our generation,” Ross said. “The Unauthorized O.C. Musical comes from the fact that we just love this television show just as much as everybody else does.”
But when Ross and Rosin first came up with the idea and were handed four seasons worth of material, they made the decision that the show would work best if it were to focus on the pilot.
“You want to see the New Year’s kiss and you want to see the Spider-Man kiss and you want to see Marissa dying — even though you all cried about it for weeks. But it’s hard to condense a legacy into an hour and 15 minutes or an hour and a half,” Ross said. “So we decided to go back to that moment where they first fell in love with the show and in order to build on that, we use music from all four seasons. So even if that music moment that you loved in the series isn’t in the show, you’re going to feel it. A really good example is ‘Champagne Supernova.’ So you’re not going to see the upside-down Spider-Man kiss because we’re not doing that scene but you will feel that moment between Seth and Summer; it’s sung by Seth and Summer, so you’re going to get it.”
And that brings us to a very key part of the show: Who will portray the core four? The brains, the brawn, the beauty, and the boobs/bitch, if you will. Well, EW can exclusively reveal that bit of casting news. Joining a cast that already includes The Flash’s Rick Consett as Sandy Cohen, Jersey Boys’ Drew Seeley as Luke Ward, Step by Step’s Christine Lakin as Kirsten Cohen, BuzzFeed editor Jarett Wieselman as show creator Josh Schwartz, and actual O.C. star Autumn Reeser will be …
Tilky Jones, whom fans might recognize from his stint on Nashville, will take on the role of the brooding bad boy with a heart of gold. (But will he wear a choker?)
Molly McCook, who’s currently working with Ross and Rosin on Cruel Intentions, will play Marissa Cooper, the oh-so-tragic popular girl who always insists on seeing the good in people.
Brendan Robinson — whom Pretty Little Liars fans will recognize as the geeky, lovable, and sometimes questionable Lucas — will take on the role of the quick-witted, comic-loving Seth Cohen.
Awkard star Greer Grammer will play Summer Roberts, which means she’ll be saying “ew” a lot and probably wearing at least one bikini.
Speaking to the castings, Rosin noted that the most difficult part was finding great actors who could also sing, which is one of the main reasons they decided to bring McCook over from Cruel Intentions. “When we were talking about doing The O.C., both of us were like, Molly has to play another Marissa. There’s no doubt in our mind. She has to do it and I can’t wait for people to see her who haven’t seen Cruel Intentions because she’s so great,” Ross said.
As for the rest of the cast, “They all sort of had a little piece of the character in them,” Ross said. “We wanted four people who were going to represent [the show’s] legacy and we got that from all 8 of our cast members. They’re really going to show that The O.C. was more than just a phenomenon that only went four years; that people still really love the show because our cast are also very big fans of the show. We knew you can’t replace those iconic performances but you can honor them and that’s what we were looking for was people to honor them vocally, but also from an acting standpoint as well.”
Tickets to the Aug. 30th performance will go on sale at the end of July.