Open Post: Hosted By Harvey Fierstein Almost Sharing His Opinion Of John Travolta’s Performance In “Hairspray”
I imagine it would be a great honor to be taken down, verbally, by the likes of Harvey Fierstein. Harvey appeared on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen and was asked what he thought about John Travolta’s performance as Edna Turnblad, a role Harvey originated for Broadway (after Divine played her in the John Waters original film), in the movie version of Hairspray. While I would have preferred him to go full blown Patti Lupone on his ass, Harvey took a more circuitous route through a shady pine forest and said he’d actually never seen it. Well, he saw some of it. On an airplane. On somebody else’s screen.
Coming at his opinion sideways, Harvey told a story about how Carol Channing felt about watching Barbra Streisand playing Dolly Gallagher Levi in the movie version of Hello, Dolly!, a role which Carol originated on Broadway. According to The Huffington Post, the movie was “poorly received”.
“The longer it went, the happier [Channing] got,” Fierstein quipped. “I was on an airplane, somebody was watching [the movie], and I looked over, and I went, ‘OK.’”
You have to listen to Harvey tell it because, the way he says “ok”, is a master class in dismissal.
I would love nothing more than to be a fly on the wall at some Hollywood event and land in the back near Harvey and Patti’s table. I can just imagine the razor-sharp barbs and devastating one-liners those two would quietly (but not too quietly) swap about all the lowly film “actors” in the room. Nobody’s wig would be safe! Especially not John’s pet possum.
Incidentally, Harvey as Edna is this the pick for this year’s addition to the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ Broadway Legends ornament collection.