“Bye Bye Birdie Live!” Dream Cast

Something I love to do, and should get paid for but don’t, is casting shows. If you put a script in my hand, I love to rake my brain to find you the current list of working actors that should play these parts. And while I think Telsey & Co. are certainly missing out by not using my talents, I will not be silenced. For anyone that cares, this will be the number one spot to hear who I would cast in upcoming movies, musicals, and movie musicals.

Today’s show of choice is Bye Bye Birdie Live, which, let’s just say it now and get it out of the way: I’m ecstatic for. While BBB is by no means one of the best musicals ever made, it somehow always finds its way in my Top 10 Broadway shows (which is a post for another day), so I was thrilled when I heard it was NBC’s next choice. Honestly, I didn’t care what they did; I just needed SOME KIND of palette cleanser after the travesty that was Rocky Horror: Let’s Do The Time Warp Again. Yikes. My PTSD is flaring up just typing it.

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So, I was already excited by the announcement, but became even more flambouyant (read: high pitched squeals included) when I discovered that Jennifer Lopez would be playing everybody’s favorite 1950’s Latina, the soon-to-be Rosie Peterson, the English teacher’s wife. The Shiner’s Ballet dance sequence is enough to make this casting worth it alone, but I’m tingling to see what she does with “Spanish Rose.” It won’t top Vanessa Williams’ performance, but I’ll settle for a close second.

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No one else has been cast yet, so I will take it upon myself (You’re welcome, Mr. Telsey) to flesh out the rest of the cast:

Albert Peterson

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Audiences love James Corden, and I could totally see him as Rose’s fiance of eight years/Conrad’s agent.

Kim MacAfee

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To be honest, this show’s young female lead will probably be an unknown. NBC has prided itself on finding fresh talent to headline their most recent live shows, and I can’t see that changing anytime soon.

Conrad Birdie

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Although diversity wasn’t this country’s strong point in the 1950’s (or now, but again – another day, another post), musical theater is the one place we can ignore that and cast how the world should be, not how it is. (Questions? See Tony award sweeping “Hamilton.”) Bruno Mars would work wonders as the sleazy, gyrating teen idol, Conrad Birdie.

Mae Peterson

Image: "Show For Days" Opening Night

Patti Lupone would slay in the role of Albert’s racist, pushy, guilt-trip slinging mother.

Hugo Peabody

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While I don’t think Nick Jonas fits this role perfectly, I’m kind of just shoving him in here because I think he should have been Link in Hairspray Live! and this is second best, I guess. I think Jonas is too cool to play Kim’s nerdy (and clingy! Like, for real, boy bye!) boyfriend, but the youngest famous JoBro considers himself an actor, so… start acting.

Harry MacAfee

Steve Carell. Photo: Magnus Sundholm for the HFPA.

Steve Carell is still in good graces with NBC because of his little hit, The Office, so I could see this casting happening. Kim’s cranky, opinionated father steals the show with his Act II number, “Kids!” I’m not sure if Carell has any musical talents, but Norm from Cheers has little-to-none and I had to sit through that in the 1995 TV remake, so we’ll be fine with whatever Carell is able to “sing.”

Doris MacAfee

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There is nothing remarkable about Kim’s mother, Doris. Literally any actress of a certain age could play her. I just enjoy Sutton Foster on my screen, so she gets the part.

Ursula Merkle

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While Ursula is practically the same role Elle McLemore played in Grease Live!, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. She’d be great as Kim’s best friend and co-president of the Conrad Birdie fan club, Sweet Apple branch.

I’m sure NONE of these will happen, but a boy can dream. I’ll settle for even one of these actors being picked, not that I’d be bitter about alternative casting… just don’t ask me about my VonTussle casting choices in Hairspray Live! (Emma Roberts and Jane Krakowski, if you were wondering. I mean, what the hell is a Dove Cameron?)

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How To Host A Murder: An Affair to Dismember

For the past few years, murder mystery dinner parties have kind of became my thing, so much so that my bachelor party was a murder mystery. Also for the past few years, Halloween parties have kind of been my thing.

This Halloween, I decided to combine the two and do a Halloween themed murder mystery, and it did not disappoint.

There’s plenty of murder mystery kits out there, and I’ve tried a few different companies in the past, but my favorite is How To Host A Murder. This company sets up the party for 8 guests – 4 males and 4 females, and gives each guest a book made up of their character descriptions and secrets to conceal and reveal during each of the four rounds.

I find that these mysteries are a lot more thought out than some other mystery companies out there with more fleshed out background for each of the characters. Some of the other brands don’t put much focus on the actual mystery, filling in the empty time with dance contests and trivia games. I like to cut all of that shit out and get right to the reason we’re all gathered at the table: cold blooded murder. 

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Because this year’s event was also a Halloween party, I went with HTHAM: An Affair to DismemberIt’s a story of monsters and mayhem, set in a Transylvanian castle. The group of misfits (including, but not limited to: Satan’s younger, nerdier brother; a fortune teller; the head of the Frankenstein monster on a Broadway dancer’s body, and the Wicked Witch of Depressed) are celebrating the engagement of two of their own: Neville Astor Night, the owner of the castle, and his new fiancee, Lizzie Bordeaux.

NOTE: How To Host A Murder is no longer making games, but I’ve found any copy I ever needed on EBay for relatively cheap.

After choosing my mystery, and sending out the invitations (including each guest’s character description and costume suggestion), it was time to plan the menu. The game is split into four rounds, so I decided to make this a three course meal: appetizer in between rounds 1-2, dinner between 2-3, and dessert between 3-4.

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As the first course, I found the Olive Garden salad copycat recipe. I used this recipe for the ingredients, but instead of making my own dressing, I found the Olive Garden brand in my supermarket and just bought that. There are websites that have copycat recipes for the dressing, as well, but as my friend Sweet Brown is so fond of saying, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

Because this was a spooky Halloween event, I purchased 8 bell peppers and carved small Jack-O-Lantern faces in them to use as serving dishes for the salad. Some of the peppers were top heavy and unbalanced, so I sliced some of the bottom off so it would be level. I also sliced the stem from the pepper, leaving a hole big enough to insert the pepperoncini.  14642309_10100197905223314_1947811748839336527_n

As the main course, I found a recipe for cheese-filled meatballs that look like eyeballs. I dyed some spaghetti black and served it with my grandmother’s homemade spaghetti sauce recipe, and it was a success.

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Lastly, dessert consisted of red velvet cheesecake that oozed “blood.” This was my first attempt at this recipe, so it did not look as picture perfect as the one shown, so you aren’t seeing my completed project. Maybe next year. However, my newly found 10 pounds can assure you it tasted great.

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Most of our decorations were purchased at Party City, with a few homemade exceptions. If you’re feeling lazy or out of time to decorate, I highly suggest the “Mood Setters” from Party City. I love to decorate, so this isn’t the ONLY thing I use, but it does certainly enhance the room.

The easiest decoration I “made” were my Ghostface candles. I purchased tall glass candles from the dollar store and drew ghost faces on them. Literally, that was all I did. So easy and so cute.

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Overall, the party was a complete success, and I’m already looking forward to the next one. Below are some photos of everyone in their costumes:

Donnywood, Population: 1

I used to have an entertainment blog where I wrote movie and television reviews. Sometimes I’d focus on High School Musical tidbits, and sometimes I’d focus on gay porn news. Clearly, there wasn’t a target audience. Clearly (part II), the site didn’t get much traffic.

I did my best keeping up to date, but reviewing every single episode of every single show you watch can get tiresome, so I turned to some of my closest friends and had them assist with some posts. None of them were getting paid, but to be fair, neither was I. Still, it was a cute little business I was running.

But lives get busy and all of us kind of just stopped writing posts. So much so, in fact, that my domain name expired and Sexy Trash was purchased by, you guessed it, a porn company (which, if they included High School Musical tidbits, would be kind of full circle, so I approve). 

I recently tried to revive the site with another friend of mine, but to be honest, I just can’t be bothered with deadlines and meeting a certain number of posts per day. Chalk it up to me being a pesky millennial, I guess. So the revival of Sexy Trash ended as quickly as it began.

So here I am – alone, this time, and not focusing on content. This isn’t an entertainment blog. Sometimes it will be. It will be chock full of movie reviews and Top 10 lists. Sometimes, I may post some viral videos. Sometimes, I’ll show you costumes and decorations I whip up for theme parties. If you’re lucky, you’ll get some insider information on my life and marriage. But most likely, I’ll just talk about how much I poop.

Welcome to Donnywood. Buckle up because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.