Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dancing With the Stars Post-Mortem: Week 6

Listen, World, I have to ask you something, and please be honest with me: For those of you who live in Not New York, were you to come here on a vacation, would you seriously go see "Sister Act" on Broadway? 

And if your answer is (correctly), "No," then how about this. What if all the other (real) Broadway shows were sold out? Then would you go see it, or would you find something else to do, like, say, ANYTHING else?

I don't get why people keep putting movies on Broadway. Is the Great White Way really so vacant of talented young writers penning new, original material?

Then again, I'm not the best judge of what other, more normal people, like and don't like. The husband and I recently watched "The Social Network," and I seriously did not get why a)this was made into a movie, b)everyone freaking loves it, c)it was nominated for Oscars.

But I do like DWTS, and that's why we're here.

This week's Train Wreck was, for once, NOT the work of the couple sent home. We'll get to that...

Do you think that when Kristen Chenowith gushed about how much she enjoyed Broadway Week, she was really seething on the inside that no one did a number from "Wicked?" I did. I seethed. I love Wicked. (I also think that KC should have been cast as Effie Trinket in the "Hunger Games" movie, but I digress.)

I don't understand how "Walk Like a Man" from Jersey Boys is a Broadway song. It's a regular song, that is part of a jukebox musical. It's the kind of Broadway show my father likes because he already knows all the songs because he is a million years old and remembers when they all hit big the first time around back in 10 Gadjillion B.C. or whatever. I could think of a MILLION original Broadway songs that could have been featured in this show that were not once regular songs. "Shall We Dance?" from The King & I. "The Lusty Month of May" from Camelot. "Wonder of Wonders" from Fiddler On the Roof. Anything from A Chorus Line. And so on and so forth. My point is that I do not get how "Walk Like a Man" somehow made it into Broadway Week. But, whatever. Rob Kardashian's Cha-Cha was good when he shook his booty, Ok when he and Cheryl were in hold, and bad when he was by himself. We've seen him dance better, so he'd better get his act together next week.

OK, OK, I know I just complained about movies being put on Broadway, but I do kind of like Spamalot. What can I say, I'm a sucker for Python. Know what else I'm a sucker for? Dudes dressed as knights. So there was no way I wasn't going to like Nancy Grace's Foxtrot to "Always Look On the Bright Side of Life" with Tristan being so damn cute in his little costume that I could just eat him up. This was my favorite dance of the night. Also, Nancy? You can rock the long hair. Just saying.

Pay attention now, because I am about to blow your mind. David Arquette did a Quickstep to "We Go Together" from Grease, right? Which stars John Travolta, right? Who also starred in the movie based on the Broadway show based on the movie of "Hairspray," right? WHICH ORIGINALLY STARRED RICKI LAKE WHO IS ALSO ON THIS SEASON'S DWTS. I'll give you a moment to put your brains back together. David did well, and he and Kym were super cute, and I like when he does his celebrity impressions, but I still give him another two weeks at most before he hits the road.

More confessions: Guys and Dolls is my favorite Broadway show ever. I love Camelot because my mother and I are heavy into Arthuriana, but Guys and Dolls is my all-time fave. I can't think of a single song from that show I don't like. (Unlike with Camelot, where I puke every time I have to hear "I Loved You Once in Silence.") So when Ricki Lake (see above) got out there to do a Quickstep to "Luck Be a Lady," I just about swooned with joy. FINALLY someone on the show was doing a REAL Broadway showtune, knowwhatimean? Also, here's a little bit of triva: my great-uncle Frank Richards was an extra in the 1955 movie version of "Guys and Dolls." Scroll down to his name - if you watch the movie (which you should) he's the guy carrying all those packages in the title number. Uncle Frank also had a bit part in an episode of "Different Strokes," where he played a security guard on the set of "Knight Rider" who chased off Arnold and Dudley when they tried to hassle the Hoff. I AM TWO DEGREES OF SEPARATION FROM DAVID HASSELHOFF AND MARLON BRANDO AND FRANK SINATRA, is what I'm saying. Yes, you can have my autograph.

I'm not going to pretend like I am too good to enjoy Phantom of the Opera. I do, I love it. I thought that the song was a good match for Chaz's Tango, despite Bruno's poo-pooing of it. But I'm not surprised that Chaz got sent home for it. I've said in my last two DWTS posts that he didn't have much longer to go this season. But Chaz was not the Train Wreck of the week...

P.S. Is it just me, or did Lacey look totally like Gwen Stefani with her hair and makeup like that?

When Karina told J.R. Martinez that she was giving him her most complicated choreography she's ever done on the show, do you think somewhere out there Mario Lopez threw something at the TV? They did a totally fine Quickstep to "Hot Honey Rag" from Chicago, and of course it was flawless, and I still think that J.R. will win. At this point it's pretty much a fact, unless something deeply tragic happens to him before then.

Before I launch into this week's Train Wreck that was - not Hope Solo's Rhumba to "Seasons of Love" from Rent itself - but Maks's diatribe, I have to go off on another rant. About Rent. And how much I detest that show. A rant within a rant. A meta-rant, if you will.

I was dragged to see Rent when it first came out on Broadway, and I did not understand it when I was a fresh-faced 20-year old recently moved to NYC, and I especially don't get it now that I am a 35-year old veteran of the Big Apple. In a nutshell, it's about a bunch of dumbass kids squatting in Alphabet City who would rather strip and do drugs and use candles at night rather than selling out and earning a little bit of money which is clearly the worst thing ever ever ever. Oh, no, I'd rather keep filming my stupid friends being stupid rather than "sell out" and have a meal. And I realize this rant makes me sound like a Republican, but listen. I'm a Liberal, not a hippie. I enjoy my showers and food and insulated indoors, thank you.

But I swallowed my revulsion to the song "Seasons of Love," which might be one of the dumbest Broadway songs ever, and kind of liked Hope's dance. 

However, as an athlete, I'd think that Hope had thicker skin than she does. How did she make it to the Olympics if she's so sensitive? I'm sensitive, but I'm not a world-class athlete, so no one cares if I cry because someone calls me not sexy. 

That said, Maks was not wrong in his ranty rant. I mean, yeah, he was totally out of line in telling Len that maybe it's time for him to retire. Like, totally out of line. And he was just plain stupid when he called the judges "judgmental." Um, DUR. 

But he's right about the inconsistency in the judging - something Derek pointed out in a similar rant several seasons ago. Some stars get judged harsher than others. No one has ever pretended like this show is about actual dancing: it's about charisma and playing to the audience and being entertaining and likable. It's why mediocre dancers like Emmett Smith and Donny Osmond win the trophy. So Macks isn't wrong. And honestly, I'm surprised he hasn't lost his shit sooner: he's one of the few really talented professionals who has been on pretty much every season and has yet to win his partner the mirror ball trophy (Laila Ali or Mel B., anyone?) He just was kind of douchey about it, but I always kind of figured that about him.

Anyway, his apology seemed half-assed, but I don't really blame him. You can't fault a douche for being douchey. And, I am willing to bet money that he and Hope only ended up in the bottom two because of his douchey rant that totally bit the hand that feeds him.

Finally, there was the group dance, which is usually my favorite part of the season. But this season's was a flop, and I didn't blame the judges when they broke from tradition and did not request it as the encore dance. 

First of all, I detest the song "Hey Big Spender" from Sweet Charity because back in high school some theatre girls used to perform it at the yearly talent show, and seriously? Sixteen year olds doing a stripper song? At a high school talent show? Every so often the news gets all outraged about the overt sexuality of young kids, but that is nothing new, folks. Back in the early '90s my high school had plenty of girls doing stripper numbers. And ever since then I just can't stomach "Hey Big Spender." I cringed all through that part of the group dance last night, memories of my high school auditorium and braces and flannel shirts (it was the grunge years) running through my head. 

But I do love Cabaret. I love it a lot, and I thought that part of the dance, to "Money Money" was quite clever and well done by all. If only the entire group dance could have been that. Or a medley of Cabaret songs. 

Next week is Halloween Night, or something like that, which I'm really looking forward to. I mean, how cute were those dancing kids doing "This Is Halloween?" So cute. Loved it. Love Halloween. Can't wait to see what everyone comes up with next week...

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