Last year, NBC reintroduced America to live-taped musical theatre in the form of The Sound of Music , and the result was three hours of awkward acting, cheap-looking sets, and nonsensical choreography. I, like an amateur, made the mistake of not preparing myself for what ensued, and watched the whole ordeal stone cold sober. Big mistake. On Thursday night, the stage hits the small screen yet again to tell the story of the boy who wouldn't grow up. So I created a little Peter Pan Live! drinking game to get you through all the disasters that will inevitably occur (or not... who knows?).
After studying the interviews, makings of, and previews of the show, I've mapped out the definitive drinking game to save us hours of tears and frustrated tweeting. Honestly, if anything is going to make your tweets funnier, it's definitely several drinks down the hatch. So what's in store for us because, really, who knows how long the show will be?
"We have boys, flight, dogs, and Christopher Walken. What could go wrong?" -Christian Borle
What you will need (let's face it, you definitely have all this stuff in your house):
- Beer (preferably something British) or wine (red or white)
Every time Christopher Walken acts like Christopher Walken instead of Hook, take a sip of your chosen drink.
I'm starting off with something light, because chances are, every line he utters will be a Walkenism. So take your time, pace yourself, and sip slowly. During the Making Of Peter Pan Live! special, Walken said his character is a lot like himself so that makes this one a guarantee. Moreover, Taylor Louderman (Wendy Darling) said that in rehearsals, he never gave the same performance twice, so for a live recording, we can only imagine what he'll do (as can his fellow actors). If that isn't exciting enough, according to the director/choreographer Rob Ashford, "he accepted the role with the caveat that he wants to dance." A lot. A little hint: he tap dances. Thinking you might want to just finish your beer once that happens. Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.
Whenever Allison Williams messes up the choreography or drops her British accent, take a shot of whiskey.
So we're jumping right in here with some heavy drinking. Williams may have been touted as a decent singer, but no one's said anything about her moves. Now she's up against seasoned Broadway dancers in what looks like a non-stop choreography party. And, according to the Girls actress: "Most choreography is challenging to me," so we're likely in for it. Also, Peter Pan Live's title character will be fully British unlike many before her. "At the end of the day it's much harder for me to have the accent, because my lips get tired," Williams said. Watch for the "r's" to start jumping ship first, and have a shot glass nearby.
Any time the CGI'ed Tinkerbell is not where the actors are looking, take two sips of your drink.
We know that Tinkerbell has been upgraded from the beam of a flashlight to a digitally created and operated squiggle, and the actors only have the memory of her blocking to know where she is at any given moment. Now how could this go awry? Picture multi-leveled sets, 16 cameras, a huge cast, a real dog, and you want the actors to imagine the mere idea of Tinkerbell? I have a feeling this one's going to get hilarious fast.
When you see wires during the flying scenes, take a sip.
Again, it's likely to happen a lot, so I thought it wise to make this one easy. There was a great deal of bragging that went on during the Making Of special about the flying stunts throughout the show (that is why we're watching, right?). Joe McGeough of Flying by Foy in particular spoke about how the company's flown "thousands of Peter Pans" over the years, so we should expect nothing but the finest in human flight. Then again, it's still a live performance, and they're still attached to wires, so unless CGI Tinkerbell can photoshop as well as fly, we'll be seeing those lines everywhere.
If Nana steals the show for making a mistake because she's a real dog, down the rest of your drink.
No disrespect to Bowdy who looks like a very capable dog, but he's also a dog, and no matter how well-trained he is, there's no telling what he'll do when the lights are on. Originally, this part was played by a man in a dog suit, but I suppose that's too basic for primetime. Watch out for stray barks and little Michael getting knocked down repeatedly.
Whenever Smee (Christian Borle) steals the focus from Christopher Walken, take another shot.
Borle is one of the only returning actors from Sound of Music, and he's a hilariously hammy Broadway performer who's famous for his own version of Hook. Plus, he's playing Smee to Walken's Hook. There's no way this won't become a funny-off.
Any time the camera cuts to scenery because of some production malfunction, everyone has to waterfall (drink until the person to your right stops drinking).
As was evident in the Making Of Peter Pan Live! special, the sets are multi-faceted, moveable, and all pushed together in one large space. Several actors wear flying harnesses that they get in and out of multiple times. Suddenly it makes perfect sense why they have 16 cameras; so when Wendy gets caught on a fake tree, they can cut back to the map of Neverland.
Whenever you get the impulse to hate tweet, or read other hate tweets on #PeterPanLive, down a few more sips.
Let's face it, after last year's musical fiasco, everyone's waiting to rip into Peter Pan in ways I can't begin to imagine. And the cast already knows it's coming — Williams said, "audiences today like to watch things cynically." Well I hope you're ready for it, girl because hate watching is real, and it's coming for you.
Every time the set looks distractingly fake, take another shot.
All I can think of are the millions of dollars spent on production, and they're still using tissue paper trees. Perhaps every shot will look somewhat fake, but at this point, you might as well really go for it. Ah well. At least none of us will remember any of this come morning.
Images: Giphy.com (7), nbc.com (5)