OH – EM – GEEEEE!!!!! Hairspray Live gave me all types of life last night! I’ll be the first to admit it didn’t fully give me what I was expecting and I was not impressed with Derek Hough. However, there are plenty of people waiting to write (or have probably already written) their pieces about the bad things that happened during the production. Yes, there was a few and all you have to do is go to the Twitterverse to find them. But, I want to focus this post on some tweets and the ups that I found while watching the show. So, without further ado, here is my Hairspray Live positive blog.
Tracy, portrayed by Maddie Baillio started us off with Good Morning Baltimore. Now, I may be a little biased because I was just happy to see her and see what she was going to do, but I think she did absolutely awesome with the opening. Plus, she has a beautiful voice, in my opinion. Velma, portrayed by Kristin Chenoweth just belted out everything she sang last night. Kristin is short in stature, but dang does she have a hell of a voice.
I tried really hard to not have a favorite performance, but that’s just not possible. Of course, You Can’t Stop the Beat will always be in my list of favorites because it’s just a catchy song and it makes you feel good. If you were able to not move while listening to that song last night, you must have had a really rough day!
However, there are three performances last night that just brought down the house. The final song of Act One (“Big, Blonde and Beautiful) performed by the ever talented Jennifer Hudson who played Motormouth Maybelle was superb. Like many of us, I was waiting on her to start “yelling”, but she didn’t. She just performed like we all remember from her American Idol days. Edna (Harvey Fierstein) and Wilbur (Martin Short) started off the second act with “You’re Timeless to Me”. I posted on Twitter how it was probably weird for me to like that performance, but my mind was eased by a few people who agreed that it was an amazing performance. Two comedians doing what they do best – making us feel something, even if it is not laughter.
To round out my three favorite performances of the night, I have to make you understand something. Although Jennifer Hudson performed this song, it is a particular part in “I Know Where I’ve Been” that sent chills down my spine. I do not know who she is (and if you do, please let me know). There was a woman standing at the window and during that song, she hit several notes that kept you glued to the television. But the very first one she hit --- my gawd, my gawd!!! Chiiiillllleeeee, if I could sing like that, I would NEVER shut up. Maybe that’s why singing isn’t my gift or talent.
I’ve never seen the Broadway production, but from my understanding, the majority of the original choreography was used. Honestly, I think that is fantastic! I love when shows are able to stay true to the roots of what it is trying to come behind. Now, I saw a lot of my generation on Twitter last night referencing the 2007 production and the name Zac Efron came up a lot. Ok, fellow millennials, relax. Grant it, I missed Zac too, but it was time for another cast to come along and make it interesting for us. I believe they did just that. On the other hand, I also noticed some of the ensemble was not able to keep up. Like I said, I will save the negatives for other people, but this was sort of obvious, so I would be crazy to not mention it.
I love bright colors. If you have been following my blog for any length of time, you know how much I love bright colors. I was in love with the colors I saw last night. Since there are so many outfits to talk about, I will just pick my favorite three to discuss. Ironically, all of these outfits were worn during the grande finale. Let’s just get this one out of the way – Jennifer slayed in the gold jumpsuit she was wearing. Ok, yeah, we’re done with that one. Seriously, during the finale, the men stole the show for me. When Link, played by Garrett Clayton and Seaweed (Ephraim Sykes) came out in those suits, I was too hype! Clatyon was looked awesome in burgandy and Sykes was a vision in blue.
I love me some Little Inez. The very cute and talented Shahadi Wright Joseph played this role and she was flawless. Plus, she had some afro puffs that made me want to rethink the hairdo I wore today. One of my favorite people to see were (Sean Hayes). I also appreciate that fact that Ricki Lake and Marissa Jaret Winokur made cameo appearances. However, I was a little hurt we were not blessed with an appearance by Nikki Blonsky. And all night long, my feelings were hurt because the super talented Darren Criss was seemingly stuck just doing commentary and I really wished he would have just jumped in and showed out in the ensemble. However, he was there for one thing and he did that very well.
Another thing I liked about this production was how wannabe savage it tried to be. For instance, Edna needing someone to hold her waffles were awesome. I'm laughing as I type this, but I just cannot begin to explain how funny this part was to me without you seeing it. There was also another part where I had to step back and think they know there are kids staying up past their bedtime to watch this, right? Yall know what I'm talking about - LOL!!!
It was a beautiful production. Grant it, there were some things that could have been better, but overall, they get a solid B from me. It’s a high B, but not close enough to get an A. It had its highs, but there weren’t enough highs for me to stay hooked. I could look away and feel like I could get caught right back up. I wasn’t glued the entire time and that, quite frankly, was disappointing. However, it was far from being a complete failure…because I did see some people say that.
I kept trying to figure out what to say to sum it all up. I couldn’t, but someone on twitter was able to do so. In the words of Sarah,