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May 17, 2008


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Travolta couldn't carry those off: he's too busy playing a woman to play a man playing a woman.

I've never seen any of the stage productions, but, now thta you mention it, I'd have loved to see Fierstein(*) as Edna. Travolta? To me, that was a gimmick.

As for Michelle Pfeiffer, she's getting typecast playing evil you-know-whats, isn't she? That's a shame.


(*) His character in Independence Day was the only one I gave a hoot about, and he was in it too briefly.

Well, you can see a teeny bit of Fierstein in the video I embedded at the bottom. It's very blurry, unfortunately, but you can hear The Voice.

Having watched some other Ednas on Youtube (where there are clips from the London cast and the current Broadway cast), I have to say that Michael Walker actually outshines all of them but Fierstein. Too many of the others are just mugging and playing it over-the-top goofy; they haven't grasped the concept that the character is funnier if played perfectly seriously - just trust the material! The over-the-topness is gloriously inherent when played by Fierstein, and Walker captured much of the same quality.

On Pfeiffer, I thought she was quite good as Velma, we just didn't need so much of her. And she could actually sing, though of course that's a simpler task in film where you can dub in the vocals afterwards and modify them in the editing process as needed. It's a much bigger task to sing while actually acting and dancing in front of a live audience.

Unfortunately, I think this tour winds up next month in San Francisco and Dallas.

they haven't grasped the concept that the character is funnier if played perfectly seriously

That reminds me of how Cary Grant never won a single Oscar in his long career. After all, he was mostly famous for comedies, and it's easy to be funny, right? Right. Well, much as I loved old-time actors like Gregory Peck and Kirk Douglas, they were terrible in comedies. I'd watch their performance and think "This character knows he's in a comedy". Well, as Edmund Gwenn is supposed to have said, "Dying is easy, Comedy is hard".

Gone a bit off-topic, I know.

I have a copy of the Waters' Hairspray and I don't plan to watch the new version because of Travolta playing Edna straight. I complained about this elsewhere and was told it was just a different interpretation, but it isn't -- it's a major plot change.

Absolutely. Walken as Wilbur in the film was a different interpretation. Travolta as Edna was a disgrace to both the original film and the musical.

If you ever have a chance to see the stage show I'd be curious to hear what you think. I suspect serious fans of the original film might have some problems with it. (I've seen the original film, and enjoyed it, but am actually more fond of the stage musical.)

I agree, but i did end up loving the film. i was saw this same cast play in Boston a month ago, and Zac Efron as "Link" in the move doesn't even compare to Taylor Frey in the touring cast. He was so vocally on and his dancing was fantastic, not to mention gorgeous. It made the show so much more fun to watch.

I actually didn't mind the film the first time I saw it, because I liked the way they handled the musical numbers. I also saw it with my sister, who's exactly the demographic they were aiming for.
Even so, I totally agree-Travolta was a far cry from the original, and Taylor Frey was loads better than Zach Effron.

Raven & Janice -
I'm not ignoring you, I'm just sort of empty of response. I barely notice Link as a character in general, so Zac Efron didn't make a big impact on me one way or the other. Maybe an age gap is showing? :)

(I still say: what does Tracy see in him? He's practically the male version of a pretty bimbo!)

the male version of a pretty bimbo

Is there such a thing as a male bimbo? A bimbo, as I understand it, is a woman primarily defined by her looks and her sexuality, and she can't harm you. Any man who'd be deemed extremely attractive in the way men are usually are defined would be physically strong and so would not harmless.

But I know what you mean.
I'm just splitting hairs.

"Pretty boy" or "boy toy". Usually associated with wealthy older partners of either gender. It's a different way of being attractive than the classic "macho" look. One could call it softer or (to use a stereotype) more effeminate, but I'm not trying to suggest anything about his sexuality. I suspect there have been volumes written (in the context of anime/manga, for example) about the attractiveness of androgynous/pretty boys for preteen and possibly teenage girls. I agree that the various actors playing Link are quite attractive (if not really my type or - gawds - age range), but the character strikes me as vacuous.

ObSF: last week's Dr. Who episode, "Silence in the Library", in which David Tennant's Doctor is referred to as "pretty boy", much to his bemusement.

David Tennant's Doctor is referred to as "pretty boy", much to his bemusement

I can well imagine. Goofy, yes, but pretty?

A lot of women - myself included - find him quite attractive! But no, pretty boy isn't the term that comes to mind.

Oh, I agree, about Tennant. There are actresses about whom I feel the same way: not pretty, not gorgeous, but very attractive.

Tennant is hot. Just saying. Wonky ardor is attractive. (I almost called my blog Wonky Ardor before deciding to use a funny word instead.)

Interested in a Tennant look-alike?

Not enough of a lookalike for me!

I am currently indulging in a crush on Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark. I am morbidly aware of who he looks like. (Though Downey is much more buff!)

My wife's current crush is on Clive Owen. Mine? Gabrielle Anwar. Be still, my heart, especially since the new season of "Burn Notice" doesn't start until mid-July.

I have no idea who those people are. :)

Owen was in the recent Kate Blanchett movie about Queen Elizabeth, and was the main character in "Children of Men" and in "King Arthur".

As for Anwar... I know her mostly for her role in sort-of spy series "Burn Notice". Her character is funny, especially when she takes over her boyfriend's kitchen to make a batch of explosives as if she were baking a cake.

Should you be interested, here's a link:

Movies...television...me...the usual handwaving.

Oh, I know that, but most of this stuff IS available on DVD. Still, I should stick a mental post-it inside my brain that you don't really watch much of either even on DVD. Or off the internet. (I was supremely bummed when I realized that the SciFi Channel may be airing Doctor Who, but it's not making the episodes available on its site. This means that I missed the first 4 episodes of this new season.)

Yeah, but I'm already devoting almost an hour per week to watching Doctor Who, which is significantly more watching than I usually do and really more than I can justify! Any other watching would have to come out of my sleep, which is already down to five hours a night or less.

You could get the first four episodes the same way the rest of us are, of course, rather than depending on SciFi.

Five hours of sleep? That's about what I usually get, which is how my youngest cat managed to escape from the house in the middle of the night. She eventually decided that being alone in the dark was not a good idea.

I went to BBC America's site and couldn't find the full episodes. When you have a moment, could you send me an email describing how you do it? Thanks.

Got the instructions.

I'll finally find out why, in the one scene I caught, the Titanic is seen flying thru space. Hmm... That makes me wonder if someone working on the show ever read Stephen Baxter's Xeelee novels: one has Brunel's Great Eastern rebuilt down to the most minute details, and kept in space.

I often get five hours, but I really need six or seven and have some insomnia problems where being tired doesn't seem to particularly relate to going to sleep or staying asleep. So I'm chronically sleep-deprived.

I'm glad your kitty returned.

Hi there :o)

I'm glad you liked our tour of Hairspray. I was a member of that ensemble, and I was also the Dance Captain, so it warms my heart to know that you thought the dancing was clean and wonderful. I would like to point out that Danny James Austin actually used Jerry Mitchell's choreography. We (the Dance Captains) actually learned the show from Broadway's Associate Choreographer (Jerry Mitchell was on to other projects, so she (the associate) and Danny were in charge of the Broadway Company). Whatever we did on tour is what Jerry changed the Choreography to when he and Danny Austin set the London West End production. (There were small things Jerry wanted changed from BWAY, so they set on us, and made the change in London...and if they liked something in London, Danny came and set it on us, but it was small changes because Jerry's choreo was flawless for that show). You also saw the show in a venue that didn't allow for the entire set to be used due to backstage space and stage width/depth issues. Unfortunately that's what makes non eq non eq...NOT talent.

I am now a member of Actors Equity Association, and was given my card when I got cast in a Broadway Show. Just know that when most non eq tours go out on the road, they have all the pieces of the puzzle on those trucks. Usually, it's the SAME set as the Equity First National uses. Its up to the theater's size as to weather or not all the pieces will fit and give you the AMAZING production that you (and the CAST!) want to see/show.

Also, The Madison was in the Broadway production, and we did it exactly the way they did it on Bway. If there's a verse cut out (from any song) we skip and go to the next piece of choreography in that verse. There were a few things that were recreated choreographically venue to venue that happened if, for example we didn't have the towers for Good Morning Baltimore and Without Love, or if we didn't have the holes in the stage for the boys to jump over in Nicest Kids in Town, so they jumped over the girls.

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