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The Best Made-for-TV Musicals

Bethany Caler, Arts and Entertainmnet writer

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A television special, “Hairspray Live!”, aired on NBC on Dec. 7, 2016. Just a few of the stars that were featured in the performance were Ariana Grande as Penny Pingleton, Jennifer Hudson as Motormouth Maybelle, and Derek Hough as Corny Collins. Hairspray’s original release date was in 1988 with another movie version released in 2007, and this drama-filled musical features many songs, like “The Nicest Kids in Town”, “Without Love” and “(You’re) Timeless to Me”.

Zoe Harding, a Vista del Lago sophomore, said that even though the performance wasn’t exactly like the movie, all the actors did a great job on capturing what “Hairspray” is about.

“Hairspray is one of my favorite movies ever, so I’m glad the live performance didn’t disappoint me,” Harding said.

Like “Hairspray”, “Grease” was performed live on TV in 2016. Grease originally aired, in movie form,  in 1978 and Grease 2 in 1982.  Some of the featured stars in the live television special were Vanessa Hudgens as Betty Rizzo, Julianne Hough as Sandy Olsson and Aaron Tveit as Danny Zuko. “Summer Nights”, “You Are the One That I Want” and “Beauty School Drop-Out” are a few of the hit songs from this musical.

A Vista senior, Grace Adams, said that “Grease” is her favorite musical and explained why she thinks it’s so popular.

“I see “Grease” as a girls night in, where we all sing along and have fun,” Adams said.  Adams fell in love with all the characters instantly and thinks every song is a winner. “It’s always a good time and pure entertainment.”

Other popular musicals that have been done live are “The Sound of Music”, “Peter Pan” and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”. “The Sound of Music”, which was done as a movie in 1965, went live in 2013. “Have Confidence”, “So Long Farewell” and “My Favorite Things” are a few songs that the cast performed.

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” originally aired in 1975, and its live performance was in 2016. “Over at the Frankenstein Place,” “Touch-A-Touch-A-Touch-A-Touch Me” and “Hot patootie (Bless My Soul)” were some of the favorite songs performed.

“Musicals use songs and dance to develop a plot line. Songs are created to tell the story and you find humor in them,” Blair said. Blair believes everyone loves the combination of acting, music and dance.

The excitement of movies into musicals is real.

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The Best Made-for-TV Musicals