Here we are again! After a significant pissing contest between NBC and FOX, our beloved live musicals have now completely conformed to actually including a live audience. Gone are the days of silence so awkward that you could actually hear it emanating from miles away in that studio hangar out in Bethpage, Long Island, and gone are the days when all of my working New York friends had to juggle an eight show week, developmental lab, and a lucrative television salary while I comped their drinks at the bar I work because they told me they couldn’t afford to visit me on their nights off because they’re “poor.” That’s right, Broadway on network television has officially gone Hollywood.
Never has there ever been a more poetic example of “Oh. Hell. No,” than NBC’s response to FOX’s Grease Live!. They were like, “Wait, wait, WAIT. You snatched our wig and wore it better!?” Hairspray Live! is like that New York actor who left their Broadway chorus contract to go out to Los Angeles for pilot season because someone who understudied them once at a dinner theatre landed a one episode arc on Scream Queens.
Look, I thought Grease Live! was great. And it pissed me off. Now we’ve got to deal with a show that is actually good following the Grease Live! method. It’s going to be very difficult to make social media funny during Hairspray Live!, but I’ve seen a lot of people find a way to make 2016 funny, so I have great faith in all of you because even in the darkest of times, one thing is certain: YOU CAN’T STOP THE TWEET.
SO, EVERYONE, grab your favorite beverage, and pour one out for “Nikki Blonsky from the movie Hairspray”; it’s time to use your elbow to break down the walls of segregation and/or elbow back as many as it’ll take to make you forget that Jennifer Hudson is only four-ish years older than Ephraim Sykes.
PRE-GAME: take a shot in honor of every actor friend you know who is live social media-ing this event on a Wednesday night at 8pm, because it probably means they’re unemployed.
NOTE: I trust you’ll be surrounded by friends either in person, on social media, or both, so some of these rules pertain to you and those around you, as well as what you’ll be viewing on screen.
- Ariana Grande attempts a consonant.
- a set piece breaks or malfunctions.
- there are sound problems.
- celebrity marking.
- you have no idea who Amber and Link are.
- the camera cuts to an actor who is not really paying attention.
- Ugh. LA dancers.
- the key changes for Jennifer Hudson.
- you see someone you know (this is probably a wasted rule because LA).
- Dove Cameron is a deodorant right?
- Martin Short and Andrea Martin eat the set by the end of act one.
- one of your friends says, “I almost booked this.” (because they didn’t. again, this is LA)
- was Garrett Clayton a Vine star?
- an actor accidentally looks at the camera.
- Donald Trump wages war on Hairspray Live! because there’s a song called “Ladies’ Choice.”
- Donald Trump wages war on Hairspray Live! because he thinks the Miss Teenage Hairspray competition is rigged when Amber doesn’t win.
- Donald Trump wages war on Hairspray Live! because Rosie O’Donnell.
- NBC stamps an awkward hashtag at the bottom of the screen. #Crabs
- omg remember when Kristin Chenoweth did The Music Man?
- someone in the cast is phoning it in like they are doing an open ended run.
- Allison Williams has a series of flashbacks and you can audibly hear her screams from her home in Chelsea.
- lyric flub.
- Harvey Fierstein.
- where’s Shanice?
- acting for the stage.
- The original Broadway Dynamites look younger fourteen years later than you did when you were fourteen.
- Billy Eichner screams at someone.
- Little Inez walks away with the show like Benanti.
- you pass out before “Cooties.”
Have a great night, everybody! And remember: Always drink responsibly, but unapologetically.
SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION TIME: The epic best selling book, #SOBLESSED: the Annoying Actor Friend’s Guide to Werking in Show Business and its sequel, #GRATEFUL: Everything Happens for a Reason are available on Amazon Kindle and Paperback and “ARE THE GREATEST HOLIDAY GIFT OF ALL TIME.” – Me