All tagged Hairspray

Broadway Playlist for the Ultimate Road Trip

Last week, while I was enjoying some time off, I decided to take a little sojourn to Pennsylvania. I gathered a few old theatre friends from my college days to accompany me, musical theatre folk who love to blast a showtune in the car and sing along. Knowing that they would expect me to be the DJ for this outing, I assembled a playlist full of the perfect songs for this kind of thing. I find the best songs for a road trip fall into one of three categories...

    Hairspray Live!: What We Want to See

    This week we will finally get to see the next live musical on television: Hairspray. Since its announcement earlier this year, I have been eager with anticipation for three reasons. First, I think it is a good choice for the live television treatment since it is a vibrant, energetic and family-friendly piece with a lot of messages that are particularly pertinent right now. Second, the film version starring John Travolta left me feeling unsatisfied, as if the fun had been drained from the piece. Finally, and perhaps foremost, I think Harvey Fierstein's indelible performance as the blossoming Edna Turnblad needs to be preserved for posterity.

    Broadway Musical Musings – Hairspray Live!: Will It Hold its Curl?

    Generally, I am a proponent of the trend in producing musicals “live” on television, with the proviso that they are done well and that they don’t besmirch the reputation of musical theatre. The renaissance of live musicals started a few years ago with The Sound of Music starring Carrie Underwood. It was an underwhelming effort to say the least, but it was popular enough with audiences for NBC to turn live musicals into a perennial event. Peter Pan came next and that was even more painful than The Sound of Music, especially with an under-rehearsed Christopher Walken wending his way through the role of Captain Hook. Then something miraculous happened: Musicals Live! suddenly came up with a great idea and chose a musical that didn’t already have a beloved film version and then cast it with powerhouse talent. The Wiz Live! was a exciting, bursting with energy and heart, and was also just plain good.

    Hairspray, Huh? … Interesting Choice

    The Wiz was an unqualified hit for NBC and what has become their annual holiday LIVE! musical. In fact, it was so much better than its predecessors The Sound of Music and Peter Pan that it has injected a little more life into this teetering series that is always on the brink of extinction, dependent on ratings and an assured audience made up of musical theatre enthusiasts (are we a dying breed?). Let’s face it: if they make a musical, we will come. Those of us who love musicals in any format will show up and give it a try, but live musical television counts on a much larger crowd getting on the bandwagon.