Hairspray Live

Hairspray Live! Reminds Us 'You Can't Stop the Beat' — Grade the Big Finale!

We’re not the only ones feeling a little winded after Hairspray Live!‘s final number, right? (And we were only watching.)

NBC wrapped up its latest live musical on Wednesday night with a high-energy rendition of “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” the show’s most well-known song (and the one that burns the most calories to perform).

Among the highlights of Hairspray‘s grand finale: Penny’s glamorous transformation into a “checkerboard chick,” Little Inez lunging at Amber for the Miss Teenage Hairspray crown and Tracy’s ecstatic announcement that “The Corny Collins Show is now, and forevermore, officially integrated!”

Oh, and the dancing. So. Much. Dancing.

Video of “You Can’t Stop the Beat” will be added when it becomes available. In the meantime, grade the performance below and drop a comment with your thoughts on the overall production.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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20 Comments
  1. Nilly says:

    This happened with the Wiz live too, but they need to work on their blocking.
    I didn’t like how the opening number was about morning, but it looked like it was evening, which is was in LA. I didn’t like that they tried doing a grease live thing by having actual outdoor scenes. I like the feeling of theater like the previous 3 shows.

    • dan says:

      Agree completely!

    • Nicole says:

      Completely agree! Was disappointed that they didn’t stick with the theater look&feel, which IMO, is what makes these “live” shows special. Otherwise, I could have just watched the movie version. Also, the magic of a scene like, “I can hear the bells” is completely lost when you take away the stage aspect. All the close-ups and camera movements didn’t allow us to appreciate how everyone freezes, does an entire dance routine, then returns to their original positions by the end of the number.

    • TJ says:

      I disagree…. using multiple sets is what made this better than the previous shows. It shouldn’t look just like theater because then it would just be a camera pointed at a stage. It needs to be more engaging for tv. I thought they were smart to follow the Grease Live format.

  2. Cyn says:

    It was enjoyable, although not my favorite. I’m still waiting for someone to do Little Shop of Horrors.

    • Nicole says:

      You know they just announced that they’re doing a movie remake. But I agree, a stage adaptation would be pretty cool.

      • Jennifer says:

        Wait what? When was this? How did i miss a remake of Little Shop? (But I think this would make a fabulous “live” version on TV)

  3. dan says:

    I’m exhausted, and not necessarily in a good way. The Broadway production was much better, but this show had its moments (most of them involved Jennifer Hudson who I originally thought was too young for the role, however she was the best thing in the show). Didn’t like Ariana Grande as Penny and the guy who played Linc was terrible. The rest of the cast was pretty good. Pleasantly surprised by Derek Hough along with the actor who played Seaweed and the actress who played Tracy. Kristen Chenowith never fails to impress while the girl who played Amber was fine but nothing special. Martin Short and Harvey Fierstein were both too old for their parts (they could’ve been Tracy’s grandparents), however they were both enjoyable to watch.

    • The Beach says:

      For Linc, it appears they just cast whoever they could find that looked the most like Zac Efron. Divine is still my favorite Edna.

  4. TJ says:

    I was lucky enough to see the Original Broadway Cast perform this a couple of weeks before the Tony Awards. So they had had many performances under their belt and they were excellent. Nothing will ever top that for me. But this was much better than the movie. I thought they were smart to do a lot of what they did in Grease Live! Being able to use soundstages is what makes these work on television. I do wish they would film the Original Broadway Cast and put it in a vault… then say 10-15 years after opening, when they have made about as much money as they can out the show, release it to DVD or pay per view. I would love to revisit that performance I saw on Broadway from time to time. (Plus I would pay good money to have a copy of the OBC performing Hamilton! and RENT)

    • sntindall says:

      Yo I saw the OBC oh Hamilton and it was amazing, but the understudies and cast replacements are also very very very good. It’s a good thing they taped the OBC before they left eh?

    • ninergrl6 says:

      They actually do film all Broadway shows for preservation/future reference. They’re available for the public to view in a library in NYC, but you have to watch them on the premises, unless you know someone in the industry who can get a copy. A former coworker of mine used to work tech on Broadway and had copies of all kinds of shows for “research.”

      Can we all agree that Hairspray Live was a million times better than the movie?

    • Jake says:

      Wasn’t the original Rent cast filmed? O thought I had seen that bit could be mistaken. There was the movie that included most of the OBC

  5. sntindall says:

    I actually found Cheno to not be that great? Miss Baltimore Crabs was weird and off. The guy playing Link was probably the worst for me, especially when you have Darren Criss right there who would have done much better. Overall it was enjoyable but I prefer the OBC recording and the movie.

  6. Liz V says:

    Was it me or was the tempo super slow on all the songs even “You Can Stop the Beat” which is probably the fastest broadway song. It had it’s moments, Ariana Grande was horrible! Just overdone acting. But I just can’t get over that all the songs felt so slow.

  7. Matt says:

    After the show, I watched you tube videos of the original cast & hands down they were the best. It was fun seeing Glee’s Matthew Morrison on his breakthrough role as Link. But more so, Marissa Winoker slay. She was /is incredible She even reprise her Tony winning role a few years ago at the Hollywood Bowl & still had the chops & moves. She probably could have joined Harvey on the NBC show.

    The ratings are disappointing I thought Ariana would bring in many, considering her tens of millions of twitter followers. Viewership should go up in the next week. I know I’m about to cut the cord as Comcast is raising my bill by 40% for just 1 TV.

  8. St says:

    I’ve never seen the live version but in both movie versions at the end they straighten Tracy’s hair did this not bother anyone else? lol for me it’s like Tracy’s transformation but penny got it instead 😐

    • ninergrl6 says:

      Penny is supposed to have a “transformation” at the end too, which fell flat with Ariana IMO because her Penny wasn’t awkward enough to show a significant change.