St Barths And Hairspray

St Barths And Hairspray

Andy Cohen talks about his beach getaway, and the final performance of Broadway's beloved Hairspray.

Happy 2009!?

I guess we're beginning what could potentially be a financial holocaust, so that's why I added the question mark.

There was no sign of any impending financial drams on St. Barths last week. The excess was overflowing like the sun, capped by a Nikki Beach party featuring a 55 minute performance by Mariah (with a supposed two mill price tag) allegedly thrown by the son of Libyan Dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi.

We'd seen Kings of Leon at Nikki Beach a few nights before (which was amazing) and so we skipped Mariah. Oh and we didn't want to be beholden to a Gaddafi kid. Oh yeah and we weren't actually INVITED. I heard she was incredible, though, and Beyonce and Jay Z apparently thought so too.

It was wall-to-wall moguls and superstars everywhere, and their sightings are already old news so I don't want to be more of a crashing bore than I already am. My fave was when we saw Dolph Lundgren and his family at the burger shack. I always loved Dolph and Here's What: he's still got it!

Passport control at St Martin was a rude awakening back to reality, presided by two gals on Island Time who's "give a shit" meter held at ZERO towards the menacing crowd waiting for stamps. They were all: "Check One: Don't Know! Don't Care!". You get me? The flight home was essentially all gay parents and their kids, with Veronica Webb looking hot and sharing her treats like a fantasy flight attendant on the Soul Plane.

Yesterday was melancholia simply by being the first Sunday of January, but there was an emotionplosion at the Neil Simon Theater on 52nd Street for the closing performance of "Hairspray". You may have heard that 12 shows are closing in the next few days (see: impending financial holocaust) and my beloved "Hairspray" is the one I'll be saddest to see go. Six and a half years ago, at the last preview for the show, I fell hard for one of the Nicest Kids in Town, and we were quickly set up by "Hairspray" composer and lyricists (and music legends) Marc Shaiman and Scott Whittman.

I was a total "Hairspray' Stage Door Johnny, and that meant shlepping to 52nd Street four nights a week at 10:25 PM to watch the kids do "Can't Stop the Beat" from the back of the house and pick up my man. I'd often be in a crap mood on my way uptown but seeing that song and those people made me totally ebullient and in love.

So the show has been the backdrop for years of incredible emotion, and yesterday all the players were back together for a simultaneously euphoric and heartbreaking afternoon. (Here they are stopping the beat one more time, joined by the entire "Hairspray" fam...) I was lucky enough to have most of the originals sitting behind me singing like angels for much of the show as original stars Harvey Fierstien and Marissa Jaret Winokur gave it up onstage.

It was great seeing people again who I'd met years ago and have gone onto great things on and offstage.

There are no nicer kids in town than "Hairspray" originals (and stars all on their own) Kerry Butler, Marrissa Jaret Winokur, John Hill, Katie Leonard and Adam Fleming.And stay tuned, because Marc, Scott and "Hairspray" choreographer (and "Step it Up and Dance" mentor) Jerry Mitchell are hard at work on the new musical "Catch Me if You Can".


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