'Once i was a selfish fool, Who never understood
never looked inside myself, Though on the outside, i looked good!'
Ever since Carrie Underwood Pia Zadora'd her way through through NBC's first live musical, The Sound of Music, hate watching has become a part of watching the yearly event. It was understandable, Underwood's singing was amazing, but her acting was painful at times. With the following years Peter Pan with Christopher Walken, the trend of hate watching was cemented.
The problem became, that last years The Wiz, and this years Hairspray, were pretty great productions. I really couldn't find a bad thing to say about Hairspray, except for the odd lighting and technical gaff. The cast as a whole was incredible, with Maddie Baillio Harvey Fierstein, Martin Short, Kristin Chenoweth, Dove Cameron and the incredible Jennifer Hudson all putting in amazing performances. I also loved seeing Rosie O'Donnell and Andrea Martin, both who appeared with Fierstein on Broadway in Fiddler on the Roof, in smaller roles. Derek Hough was great as well, but I can't think of anyone sexier than James Marsden movin and a groovin as Corny.
Yet the on-line hate was out and fierce last night. People not enjoying the show, but instead typing that Hudson was yelling her songs, Fierstein is no Travota (thank GOD!) and Chenoweth is mugging to much. Chenoweth does mug, but to me, part of her charm. Much of the hate went to Garrett Clayton who played Link.
Clayton in King Cobra
Many complained the character was too generic and bland, and Clayton couldn't sing. The role was a bit boring and generic, as many male roles often are in musicals. Although there are many exceptions, musicals tended to have much better roles for female characters, and many older musicals had the bland, but good looking male counter part as a balance.
With most motion pictures doing the opposite, women deserved their special place on stage. I thought Clayton spray tan and heavy make-up aside, was perfect for Link. With Jennifer Hudson and Kristin Chenoweth belting away, it would be hard to stand out vocally, especially since Link was written to be a big 'singing part' he was written to look, and dance in a way to warrant Tracy's crush. Clayton manged it all, specially his gyrating and twisting just fine thank you. Zac Efron looked great in the movie version, but obviously wasn't a master singer either, given they cut, or choose not to film, most of Link's songs in the film.