How are we almost through January? It seems bizarre that 2017 exists at all. We are all excited here to celebrate my son’s 1st birthday at the end of February, so we’re trying to stay focused on that and other positive things. STAY POSITIVE Y’ALL. Protect yourself. Don’t gorge on awful news and retreat. We need you. ❤
I wish I could take my own advice–man, have I been up and down lately. I get manic bursts of energy (WE MUST RESIST!!! FIGHT THE POWER!!! CALL MY SENATOR!!! TAKE TO THE STREETS!) and then I feel awful, like the world is not safe for my son. It’s hard, y’all. I know you know it’s hard.
I take heart in the HEROES that are all around us. Like the National Park rangers who have gone rogue, tweeted climate change facts in defiance of a Presidential gag order, and inspired so many other agencies to do the same. Good job, park rangers. You are amazing and inspiring!!
I take enormous amounts of heart in all of the super lawyers who dropped everything and ran to airports to help those detained. My friends Kayleen Hartman, Cindy Heidelberg, Bill Murray, and Chas Carey were among them and they are all rockstars. I feel truly lucky to know so many awesome lawyers. We get a bad rap–but when things get rough, we are there with legal pads and big words to FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT. I think my feelings are best summed up by a meme created by my friend JR (another super lawyer):
LAWYERS BE LIKE:
So those people are my Heroes of the Week. I’m going to make this a regular thing–Heroes of the Week! Let me know if there’s someone who should be featured here.
Have y’all signed up for It Starts Today yet? It is a super-positive, forward-thinking effort for the Dems to take back seats in 2018. I’ve thought long and hard about it, and this seems like the thing to throw my weight behind. Removing Trump will be difficult. Pence would arguably be worse. If we can’t have the presidency back until 2020, we can at least make it harder for the president to do things while he is in office.
I’ve heard a lot of people say “but my contribution isn’t enough, it’s so little, it won’t matter.” I know the feeling! But the ACLU has raised $24 MILLION dollars since Saturday. A lot of people donating little bits can make a huge difference. The plan is simple–It Starts Today asks for just $4.68 a month (the number of seats up for grabs), which it will divide between all of the Democrats running in 2018. That’s it. Pour money into every Democrat’s campaign to stop Trump’s agenda. If you did it right now, your total contribution would be less than 100 bucks. One time in law school, a group of friends and I talked about pooling our money to buy a pirate ship that was listed on craigslist. None of us had enough on our own, but together we could do it. This is like that idea, but way better. (We did not buy the pirate ship. I regret that. But you will not regret signing up to donate for It Starts Today!!)
Y’all didn’t come here just for politics talk, I know, so let’s talk HAIRSPRAY. Since I have a small child, I didn’t get a chance to watch Hairspray, Live! until this week. And boy, have I got a lot to say! I’ll do it bullet point style, like my Harry Potter series thoughts.
- WHY IS BLAINE HERE IF HE’S NOT SINGING?? That is a serious miscarriage of justice. Darren Criss, aka Blaine from Glee, would have made a great Link (or even Corny Collins), and instead he’s the emcee. Boo.
- Tracy has a winning smile. She’s totally out of breath and can’t keep up with the opening number, but she seems so darn happy that I give in. She can stay.
- Harvey Fierstein has been doing this role for over a decade and he seems just pleased as punch to be doing it still. Way to not phone it in, Harvey! You are lovely.
- I’m happy to see Andrea Martin, as always, but she’s wasted as Mrs. Pingleton.
- I don’t really like Ariana Grande because I generally distrust very tiny talented people, but she’s doing well. I don’t love her, but she’s not a disgrace to the role (cough, cough, Julianne Hough in Grease Live, cough cough.)
- IT’S SPONSORED BY OREOS AND REDDI WHIP? That seems a bit on the nose.
- I don’t like Derek Hough and I don’t think he’s cute and I was totally confused as to why he got cast, but my husband walked through the room during “Nicest Kids in Town” and said “oh, that guy’s good,” apropos of nothing, so I guess he holds some appeal. I think he and his sister are like matching Barbie and Ken dolls–perfectly made and plastic and hollow.
- I think Velma Von Tussle may be the role Kristen Chenoweth was born to play. She’s not quite mean enough, but man does she nail the crazy. And she looks absolutely perfect. I could watch her all day.
- Amber is super mean! I buy her as a villain. She seems to really relish being a total bitch. Good acting there, dear.
- Hoo boy, Link Larkin. I love this kid (he’s in Teen Beach Movie, an unironic love of mine) but Matthew Morrison, he is not. Cute face, great dancer, but not quite up to snuff vocally.
- I’ll admit it–Welcome to the 60s made me cry. I think it’s such a throwaway number usually, but Harvey and little Tracy sold it. The joy of feeling like finally, you’ve found somewhere you belong was totally captured in their performance. They looked so beautiful in their fancy clothes after all their drab outfits. I wish that for everyone. I want every person I know to have a moment where they feel like they are wanted, they are important, and they look absolutely amazing.
- This show felt uncomfortably political right now. I know I’m hyper-sensitive, but the racial tensions in the show seemed extra tight. There are racists out there who don’t want to see black people on TV. They don’t want to see blacks and whites dancing together. It’s not history. It’s right now. When I first saw this show in 2002, I felt relief that we had come so far with racism, and now we just had to battle homophobia. What a privileged and naive girl I was! I know so much more now about how much hate is in the world, and I’m sad about that.
- I’m also really angry, come to think about it, about all of the people who voted for Trump and then enjoyed this show. I want to tell them that they don’t deserve this, that this entertainment is not for them because they are against its message. I know it’s not fair to stereotype and that hate only breeds more hate, but while watching the scenes in Motormouth Mabel’s record store, I was filled with nasty thoughts. I hate that so much art is full of love, love, love, and peace and that people who do not believe in those concepts still feel like they get to enjoy that art. It just makes me really sad.
- Jennifer Hudson is fantastic. Although, I was sad to hear her sing “Big, Blonde, and Beautiful,” as she is not big at all. She spent so much time trying to whittle herself down to a little slip of nothing, and it really struck a discordant note in this musical all about acceptance to see someone who’s struggled so publicly with her weight. I’m not saying people shouldn’t lose weight! I’m just saying during this number, I was sorry that she felt she had to. She was gorgeous before, and is still gorgeous now.
- “You’re Timeless to Me” is one of my favorite love songs in musical theater. It always makes me smile. Here are these old ugly, fat people who nevertheless have the audacity to love each other. And out of their love, they have raised a brilliant and loving girl who makes the whole world better. It’s a sweet statement that always brings happy tears to my eyes.
- I didn’t miss “Welcome to the big Dollhouse,” it turns out.
- “I Know Where I’ve Been” made me absolutely sob. I noticed much of the cast crying, too. It seemed extra poignant and powerful, and of course Jennifer Hudson’s voice is like an angel. This song is the reason why I went to law school. I felt, the first time that I heard it, that I was being called to fight for LGBT rights so that one day there could be a musical where we sang about how absurd it was that once, gays could not marry. Well, now they can, and black people are still fighting for so much (as is the LGBT population, don’t get me wrong.) The world is much more complicated then it seemed to me in 2002, but I’m still fighting for what’s right. I’m not doing it the way I thought I would be then, but I have never stopped fighting. I allowed myself a tiny moment of pride as I reflected on my journey, then gratitude for everyone who helped me get there and all of the privilege I have. It was a lot to process during the course of the song, but fortunately it’s a long song 🙂
- The end is just a big love fest. If you’re not smiling during “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” you don’t have a pulse. I just loved it all so much.
It wasn’t perfect. It didn’t really bring anything new to the show. But it made me cry and it made me smile during a time I really needed both. So bravo, cast of Hairspray Live! Thanks for making art.
I’ve prattled on for far too long. Thanks for reading! Take care of each other. Take care of yourselves. Check next week–should have the book tour finalized by then!