From creators Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio (the Despicable Me movies), Apple TV+'s new series Schmigadoon! is a romantic comedy musical fantasy where a modern-day couple who've hit a rocky patch in their relationship go on an outdoor excursion and come upon the hidden city of Schmigadoon, where everything that happens seems to be straight out of an old Hollywood musical. Not only does the series allow its creators to borrow from the style of musicals made famous by the likes of Rogers and Hammerstein, Meredith Wilson, and Lerner and Lowe (who wrote the original Brigadoon), but it also allows its incredibly talented cast to show off their impressive musical talents.
So who's set to belt it out in this inventive new series? Here's a quick guide to who's who in the cast, and where you may have seen them before:
Cecily Strong just completed her ninth season on Saturday Night Live, where she's created such characters as Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With at a Party, aspiring British pop star Gemma, and Fox News correspondent Janine Pirro, whose wine-guzzling antics Strong closed out the season with in a rendition of Frank Sinatra's "My Way." In Schmigadoon!, Strong plays Melissa Gimble, an OB-GYN who's frustrated with her boyfriend, with whom she wanders off course on a retreat and comes upon the magical, musical town of Schmigadoon.
Like Cecily Strong, Keegan-Michael Key made his name in sketch comedy, as one-half of Key & Peele. Since then, he's starred in films like Don't Think Twice and Dolemite Is My Name, and lended his voice to films like Toy Story 4. Key has appeared in two Netflix musicals in just the past year: Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey and Ryan Murphy's adaptation of The Prom. In Schmigadoon! he plays Melissa's boyfriend Josh Skinner, an orthopedic surgeon.
Aloysius Menlove is the mayor of the magical town of Schmigadoon, and if you're wondering whether his unusual surname might be a window into some secret truths about his character, well, you might be on the right track. He's played by Alan Cumming, whose career is full of triumphs, both musical and otherwise. He won a Tony Award in 1998 for his performance as the Emcee in the revival of Cabaret. He's appeared in films such as Josie and the Pussycats, Burlesque, and Battle of the Sexes, and he was Emmy nominated three times for his performance as the morally fungible Eli Gold on The Good Wife.
What TV comedy isn't Saturday Night Live alum Fred Armisen in? Among his many memorable roles, he and Carrie Brownstein created and starred in the sketch series Portlandia, he co-created and stars in the comedy anthology Documentary Now!, and he appeared in the short-lived Amazon afterlife comedy Forever, opposite Maya Rudolph. In Schmigadoon!, he plays the town reverend, married to the domineering and repressive Mildred, though he himself is fairly meek and kind.
The reverend's wife is Mildred Layton, and if you've ever seen an old movie or musical where a repressive force is controlling the town and making the protagonists' lives hell, well, that's Mildred. She even dresses severe and buttoned-up (although we love that pop of burgundy on her). She immediately targets Melissa and Josh as outsiders looking to shake things up (and thus, trouble). She's played by musical theater darling Kristin Chenoweth, the Tony Award-winning star of such shows as You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Wicked, and Promises, Promises. On TV, she won an Emmy Award for her performance as Olive Snook on Pushing Daisies, she starred for two seasons on The West Wing, and should have been more celebrated for her turn on the second season of Trial & Error.
Broadway heartthrob Aaron Tveit is probably best known for his performance as Enjolras in the 2012 movie version of Les Miserables, or perhaps as Trip van der Bilt on the original Gossip Girl. On Broadway he's starred in such shows as Next to Normal and Catch Me If You Can. He's currently Tony nominated (the only one in his category) for his lead performance in Moulin Rouge!. He also starred on the short-lived CBS political satire BrainDead. On Schmigadoon!, Tveit plays Danny Bailey, the soulful loner who might be "bad news" to any eligible bachelorette, but mostly because he's a total dreamboat, even if he is of the staunch opinion that he can't be tied down.
Dove Cameron rose to fame playing duel roles in the Disney Channel series Liv and Maddie, as a Hollywood starlet and her twin sister. She stuck with the Disney brand playing a lead role in the Descendants films, as the daughter of wicked queen Maleficent (played by Cameron's Schmigadoon! co-star Kristin Chenoweth). Cameron also made an impression in the role of Amber von Tussle in the NBC production of Hairspray Live. She had a recurring role as Ruby Hale on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and she's set to play Bubbles in the upcoming Powerpuff Girls reboot. On Schmigadoon!, she plays Betsy McDonough, the very young but very amorous local farmer's daughter who takes an immediate and aggressive interest in Josh.
Actress/singer/dancer Airana DeBose plays the role of Emma Tate, the kindhearted local schoolmarm who seems to see through people more than most of the local residents. (Like Josh, for example.) Debose is a rising talent who starred in the film version of The Prom (opposite her Schmigadoon! co-star Keegan-Michael Key) and who will soon be seen in the role of Anita in Steven Spielberg's highly anticipated remake of West Side Story. On Broadway DeBose starred in the stage adaptation Bring It On: The Musical, was part of the ensemble (and danced the role of The Bullet) in the original company of Hamilton, and in 2018 was Tony Award-nominated for playing Disco Donna in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. She also competed in the sixth season of So You Think You Can Dance, making that season's top 20.
Jamie Camil is best known for his role as Rogelio, father to the titular character on the CW series Jane the Virgin. On Schmigadoon!, Camil plays Doc Lopez, the handsome but very rigid and conservative local doctor. In this way, he clashes with Melissa when she comes to him for a job. But also … did we mention handsome?
Theater veteran Ann Harada is best known for originating the role of Christmas Eve in the Tony-winning Avenue Q. She also played the stage manager on the great/insane behind-the-scenes-of-Broaday series Smash. She plays Florence Menlove in Schmigadoon!, wife to mayor Aloysious Menlove and thus First Lady of Schmigadoon. If her husband is harboring deep secrets about his personal life, she sure doesn't know about them.
The first two episodes of Schmigadoon! stream today on Apple TV+, with new episodes dropping Fridays through August 13th.
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Joe Reid is the senior writer at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.