'Schmigadoon' 'Chicago' spoof challenged Dove Cameron, Jane Krakowski

Dove Cameron returns in "Schmigadoon" Season 2. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
1 of 7 | Dove Cameron returns in "Schmigadoon" Season 2. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, April 3 (UPI) -- The Apple TV+ series Schmigadoon! satirizes musicals like Chicago, Cabaret, Jesus Christ Superstar and Hair in its second season, premiering Wednesday.

Dove Cameron plays Jenny, a hybrid of characters from Chicago and Cabaret.


"She's largely based on Sally Bowles from Cabaret, but there were definite times where there were some Velma [from Chicago] tones and colors," Cameron told UPI in a Zoom interview. "Jenny is a little more self-aware and a little harder-edged even than Sally Bowles."

In Season 1, Josh (Keegan-Michael Key) and Melissa (Cecily Strong) stumble on the town of Schmigadoon, where they get to live out a musical spoof of shows like Brigadoon and Oklahoma!

In Season 2, Josh and Melissa go looking for Schmigadoon again, but end up in Schmicago instead. Actors like Cameron, Jane Krakowski and Aaron Tveit, who played characters in Schmigadoon, play new characters and have no memory of their previous roles.


"This time around, I got to be this weird version of Pippin, Jesus, Judas and Claude from Hair all rolled into one," Tveit said. "You can go listen to those shows and you really know what you're tasked with to bring to the overall story."

In Schmicago, Tveit, 39, plays Topher, the leader of a hippie commune. Krakowski, 54, plays lawyer Bobby Flanagan, a gender-flipped parody of Chicago character Billy Flynn.

Krakowski said she was excited to learn Season 2 would parody musicals from the '60s and '70s because they are her favorite decades of Broadway. Giving Krakowski the formerly male lead of Chicago actually fits with the era's feminist slant.

"I love how the women were represented," Krakowski said. "I love that they were quirky women who were confident in their sexuality, could sing, could dance, could get the funny line. They weren't the ingenues."

Shifting from the Lerner and Loewe/Rodgers and Hammerstein musical style of Season 1 to the Kander and Ebb style of Season 2 drew on the cast members' musical ranges.

Cameron, 27, said she has been adapting vocally since shifting from coloratura soprano training to Disney pop music in the Descendents films.


"I don't think I really found my own singing voice until a couple of years ago," Cameron said. "For this, it's like a hybrid of jazz, pop and Broadway."

Tveit, an opera major at Ithaca College from 2001 to 2005, said opera provides the foundation for all genres, from Grease rock 'n' roll to Les Miserables to Schmigadoon!.

"For this specifically, I've never really gotten to do the Jesus Christ Superstar scream singing too much professionally," Tveit said. "I got to tap into something in this show that I've never really gotten to do before."

Krakowski got her first screen role as Cousin Eddie's daughter in National Lampoon's Vacation. She performed in Broadway productions of Starlight Express and Grand Hotel in the '80s, and has moved back and forth since.

Schmigadoon! combines all of Krakowski's loves and influences.

"If people don't know me from the Broadway world, I'm thrilled they'll get to experience a little bit of that here," Krakowksi said. "I'm a real theater nerd and theater lover. I feel like that's my home base."

The new setting for Schmigadoon! Season 2 meant different costumes, too. Most of the Schmigadoon citizens wore corseted frocks and knickers. The women of Schmicago wear garters, fishnets and slinky dresses.


Cameron said the wardrobe reflected Jenny's freer spirit and sexuality.

"I am so uncomfortable in that sort of overly effeminate feminine expression, especially in that era," Cameron said. "Jenny was so free in her body and she was sexier. There was something about it that just felt more liberated."

Schmigadoon! dressed Bobby Flanagan in striped dress suits to adapt the Billy Flynn wardrobe.

"I loved playing a character who lets her fishnets and garters show at noon," Krakowski said. "My costumes in Schmicago go to the diva level."

As the hippie Topher, Tveit was looser in Season 2, barefoot in sleeveless tank tops.

"I was at comfort level 10 with my bell bottoms and fringe vest," Tveit said. "Whereas the first season, I had high-waisted pants that were up to my armpits."

New episodes of Schmigadoon! premiere Wednesdays on Apple TV+.

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