Gladiators, did you feel an inexplicable urge to break out your red wine and popcorn? It’s probably because the cast of ABC’s beloved series Scandal reunited on People TV’s livestream Stars in the House hosted by Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley to raise money for The Actors Fund. On the evening of Wednesday, July 29, Kerry Washington, Tony Goldwyn, Joe Morton, Bellamy Young and (most) of your favorite actor’s from the prime-time soap which ran from 2012 to 2018 hopped on a Zoom call to talk about their everlasting bond as employees of OPA (Olivia Pope & Associates, obviously) and their shared past as theater kids.
The reunion split the characters into two half-hour Zoom calls, the OPA crew and the White House crew, with Kerry Washington appearing in both halves. Notably absent were Abby (Darby Stanchfield), David (Joshua Malina), and Olivia Pope’s side piece Jake (Scott Foley), but nevertheless the cast persisted, specifically Guillermo Diaz, the actor who portrayed computer whiz Huck, who ironically enough was plagued with Wi-Fi issues the entire time. Poor Huck still can’t catch a break.
In the White House portion of the evening, Broadway actor Norm Lewis, who played Senator Edison Davis, dropped into the Zoom and the conversation naturally shifted to theater. All the actors on the call proudly claimed that they all got their start in the theater, with Bellamy Young going so far as to compare shooting an episode of Scandal to starring in “a one-act play.” This led Broadway pianist and singing enthusiast Rudetsky to jump on the keyboard and try to coax a few tunes out of the self-proclaimed theater kids. After Kerry Washington reminisced about performing in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music as a freshman in college, Rudetsky started playing the opening bars of the overture, encouraging Washington to sing along. Simply put, she wasn’t having it, claiming she had “PTSD” from past singing experiences. Rudetsky did his level best to get these theater kids to belt out a tune, playing a clips of both Goldwyn and Young from their stints in various Broadway shows. Only Bellamy Young — bless her theater-loving soul — took the bait, belting out one line from the song “Easy Money” which she performed in the musical The Life. Some theater kids.
While Fitz and Olivia absolutely said “don’t make me sing,” we did get a few fun theater factoids from the cast, like Kate Burton mentioning that she and Tony Goldwyn met while acting in the non-equity company of Williamstown Theatre Festival in their early 20s and that they’ve played husband and wife in two plays. Hard to imagine Fitz and Vice-President Sally Langston shacking up, but, hey, that’s theater for you. As for whether there might be a movie of Scandal in the future, Washington, who recently renewed her overall deal with ABC Studios, said that “it would be very hard to say no to the opportunity to work with this group of people again.” Fingers crossed that ABC Studios starts developing Scandal: The Movie Musical sometime in the next six months. We want to see the gladiators belt.