"Good Morning, Baltimore" From 'Hairspray Live!' Was The Perfect Welcome To The Show
The first oh, five minutes of a live musical are perhaps the most important. They set the tone in a big way for the rest of the show. That’s why “Good Morning, Baltimore” was probably the most important song in Hairspray Live! This song was the first impression of the cast and crew of the show (especially newcomer Maddie Baillio) to America, so it needed to be a good one!
One of the things I love about Hairspray as a musical in general is that it’s a progressive, tongue-in-cheek tale disguised as a Broadway musical. You think you’re sitting there, ready to listen to some good music, and you are, but you’re also going to be taught about inclusiveness and body positivity. It’s the Trojan horse of musicals, and that what I love about it. “Good Morning, Baltimore” is Hairspray Live!’s first way into the hearts of Americans, and the NBC musical didn’t disappoint with the rendition. The opening sequence was very similar to the way that the actual stage production of Hairspray opened, so it was great that the directors and set designers paid homage to the show's roots. There was, of course, plenty of hairspray, too, of course.
From the first notes she sang, Maddie Baillio was infectious! The music of Hairspray is so catchy, but there was something about her obvious joy that made everything so fun to watch. My favorite part of Hairspray is all of the weird things they slip in the lyrics (including a reference to flashers and the neighborhood drunks), and, even though this is a primetime production, "Good Morning, Baltimore," didn't shy away from those lyrics. I like a little subversiveness in the morning, and Hairspray Live! certainly delivered.
Images: Trae Patton/NBC; Giphy