December 7, 2016 at 5:20 am #1201963898
Hairspray Live! airs tonight at 8:00 after a 30 minute pre-show hosted by Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes at 7:30. So who’s tuning in?December 7, 2016 at 6:57 am #1201963932
I am….if I get home in time.December 7, 2016 at 12:06 pm #1201964123
Here’s an article I’ve written for BroadwayWorld.com…
http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/The-Journey-of-HAIRSPRAY–From-Screen-to-Stage-and-Back-Again-20161207December 7, 2016 at 1:31 pm #1201964155
This should be fun. I’ll watch it tomorrow as the big Jennifer Hudson fan I am.December 7, 2016 at 2:24 pm #1201964196
Ready!December 7, 2016 at 5:32 pm #1201964352
It’s okay so far. Lacks charm. I’ll give it another 30 minutes.December 7, 2016 at 6:13 pm #1201964377
Ricki Lake and Marissa Jaret Winokur! That’s nice to see.December 7, 2016 at 6:17 pm #1201964379
The orchestra is drowning out the lyrics and Darren Criss is totally unnecessary (which is my general opinion of him anyway), but the cast is great and the ambitious technicals are really paying off so far. It looks much more rehearsed than any previous NBC live musical.December 7, 2016 at 7:21 pm #1201964403
Jennifer Lewis or Mo’Nique would have made a better Motormouth Maybelle.December 8, 2016 at 9:15 am #1201964758December 8, 2016 at 10:08 am #1201964782
I have mixed feelings on this one. I’d give it a solid B+ but little things here and there added up.
What/Who I Loved: Cameron and Chenoweth, Fierstein, Short, Grande, Hudson, the Tracys cameo, Hough, Sykes, Little Inez, Martin,
What/Who Disappointed me: Maddie Bailleo (great voice but she wasn’t great), Clayton (Yawn), Eichner, Hayes, Rosie O’Donnell, Vogt, “Without Love” felt flat, “Cooties” fell flat but Cameron looked bored in that one.December 8, 2016 at 10:30 am #1201964802
I agree with most of what you said, but I think Maddie did a commendable job. I don’t think her dancing was as good as it could’ve been, but I felt she had the spirit and energy of Tracy.
The whole show started very slow and bumpy which made me nervous. Good Morning Baltimore had weird camera angles, way too many shot changes which was very jarring, and sound issues, but everybody fell into place after that. My only other major critique was it could’ve desperately used a laugh track or should’ve been set up differently to include audience members for some of the book scenes.
Cameron was the big surprise for me, as I had no idea who she was and I loved her the whole show. Cheno is a gift from the gods, Harvey Fierstein is the perfect Edna, Derek Hough was great, had NO idea Martin Short could sing and he was fantastic. Hudson surprised me as I wasn’t impressed with her acting when I saw her in The Color Purple and I was worried she was too young to be Motormouth, but she really pulled it off. Ariana was hit or miss for me, but overall I think she was miscast.
Let’s talk about that guy who played Link though. What was up with that guy? He was awkward and bad from the beginning to the end. His acting and movement felt robotic and he had zero personality. He ruined it for me. Without a personable Link, the whole setup of the show doesn’t really work. He was such a disappointment and I felt myself missing Zac Efron which I wasn’t sure was possible.
I really was not a fan of the cameras continuing to roll after scenes ended before commercials. I think it ruined a bit of the “magic” and took you out of the story.
I did laugh a bit when Marissa Jaret Winokur and Ricki Lake had their own individual bows. I was thinking that someone who had no idea who they were would have been incredibly confused why these two randos from the Welcome to the 60s numbers had their own bows. Any idea why Kristin didn’t get a bow? Her costume broke during You Can’t Stop the Beat but not so much she couldn’t have a bow. That was very weird.
Overall it was really enjoyable and had some great moments. It felt poignant and appropriate. Props to Kenny Leon and the whole team for such a massive undertaking.December 8, 2016 at 11:08 am #1201964817
She did have a bow, but they cut away to a shot of the overrated Ariana.December 8, 2016 at 11:25 am #1201964829
I liked it a lot.
This show had some mistakes, technical ones, Ariana Grande ones, Garrett Clayton ones, and some sound issues here and there like cutting Chennoweth’s bow and some people’s heads, a rat that got stuck, but it was still very impressive. I think they needed their live audience to participate a little more in some scenes, I don’t understand the lack of applause and screaming in some Corny Collins show scenes, specially when Link was introduced, it felt unimportant and this is the guy every girl loves. And it would’ve made sense since you’re watching them watching a live show. Same goes for several scenes during the “commercial breaks” of the CC show. A laugh track kind of felt necessary too sometimes.
I couldn’t get over how lame Ariana Grande was, or how uninterested she was during the final number, her voice wasn’t appropiate either. But the biggest most incredible issue is the casting of Garrett Clayton. Link is a huge character, and the guy looked exactly like you would expect Link to look like, but he either thought he was in Broadway going over the top with each move, or he’s too new and hasn’t really had any acting experience. He was flat, boring and couldn’t really stand up to the rest of the cast, specially Badillio.
I’ve never been a fan of Chenoweth’s voice and this wasn’t an exception, sometimes it seems like she can’t hit notes in a regular voice and goes operatic, high pitched, and I don’t appreciate that. She did it every single time when her numbers ended. Not a fan. Her acting though was great. Meanwhile Jennifer Hudson pretty much killed it with her singing.
Maddie Baillio was a great find, I think she came out the best out of every single girl who has starred in these NBC musicals and Hough on Grease. She nailed her lyrics, her voice, her dance moves were lacking, but she did her job and she did it very, very nicely. Harvey Fierstein was perfect here, I can’t imagine him not being the first Emmy nominee from these group of live actors and these shows, he deserves that one. He’s famous enough, legend enough, and a past nominee, maybe…maybe, it can happen and it would be very deserving.
As a huge Dancing with the Stars fan but not necessarily a Derek Hough fan, I have to say I was very, very surprised to see him perform so well here. His acting was great, his singing was great and physically he was Corny Collins. He did a great, great job. Now imagine him as Link. (I fucking hated that kid they got for this role). Also, isn’t Ladies Choice a Link number? Is that how lame Clayton was?
The final number was great and Grande and Hudson’s duet was too (since Grande was just being a singer there). I felt a little disappointed with the energy on You Can’t Stop the Beat, but what can you do?, it’s a live show and the lyrics are hard as fuck, the melody is too fast so these people either dance well or sing well, I feel like they settled somewhere in the middle and it didn’t come out as great as I was expecting, but then my only reference is the film which was of course too much to ask.
Never got the need for Darren Criss or the viewing parties…
Anyway…Grease Live still wins. But Hairspray comes in second.
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