Friday, October 28, 2016

A Big Day and Night for the Cast of Will & Grace

L-r, Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally
and Sean Hayes perform at a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton
at the home of  Michael Lombardo and Sonny Ward in L.A.
Yesterday, more than ten years after Will & Grace aired its series finale, turned out to be a big day for the beloved cast.

For one thing, news broke early in the day that NBC is interested in reviving the show, reportedly for a ten-episode season, which would effectively be the show's ninth.  And then last night, the cast was already scheduled to reunite for a special fundraiser for the Hillary Clinton campaign, held at the Los Angeles home of former HBO president Michael Lombardo and his husband, Sonny Ward.

Just before their surprise for the fans in attendance -- a musical performance about Clinton and Trump to the tune of West Side Story's "Gee, Officer Krupke"-- I asked Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally about the reports of a revival.  "We have no idea what's going on with that stuff," Megan said -- and indeed each cast member agreed, the project is in such early talks, the cast is unaware of the chances of the revival actually happening.  (Fingers crossed!)

Perhaps this is finally one good thing that has arisen from the vicious election cycle we've been subjected to for the past year (other than the possible fragmenting of the Republican Party, and its hopeful reorganization into something more inclusive and excluding the hateful alt-right.)  The renewed ardor for the groundbreaking and influential 1998-2006 sitcom comes after the cast reunited in secret last month, to tape a special ten-minute episode in character [see clip below], where they debated the virtues of the two candidates.  The project was filmed hush-hush, and incredibly, on the exact Will Truman living room set used by the series; it had been in storage at the show co-creator Max Mutchnick's alma mater, Emerson College, in Boston, and was shipped back to LA in time for the taping.

Below, a clip from the 1961 film version of West Side Story.  Picture brilliant spoof lyrics -- which today on Twitter Eric McCormack attributed to Randy Rainbow -- about Trump and Clinton.  One chorus became just "little hands, little hands, he has little hands...", so it's designed perfectly to get under Trump's skin.  And of course, the number ends not with "Officer Krupke, Krup You!" but "Hillary Clinton, we're with you!"

After the performance, Debra Messing spoke eloquently to the crowd about how she's so passionate about the Clinton campaign that she took a few months off from acting to concentrate on her activism.  And then, the four actors stepped down into the crowd, obliging us fans with photos.  Let's hope this is far from the last time we see them all together!  NBC, make it so!

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