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What Have You Done, Matthew Morrison? And Other Important Life Questions

You know what sucks about seeing Matt Morrison on stage these days? You know, onstage at Nassau Colisseum — like we did on Sunday night — and not, say, at the Neil Simon Theatre.

It makes you want to go to your happy place and visualize the last time you saw him ON STAGE. Like, when he was playing Lieutenant Cable in South Pacific or Fabrizio in The Light in the Piazza. Because Matt is righteously handsome, and his hips move real good, and he sings like a beast, but whatever it is he’s doing on the stage in front of all those shrieking women, it’s not what he does best.

In fairness, he sure got a lot of attention, especially for an opening act. (Matt is the warmup act for the New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys this summer.) We’ve never actually seen that many asses in their seats for an opener. Really. Never.

But his act conjures an uncomfortable feeling. It’s like being on stage as Matt Morrison doesn’t suit Matt Morrison nearly as well as being on stage as someone else.

For the past few days, in an attempt to figure out what is going on with Mr. Morrison, we’ve been asking some of life’s most important questions.  Below, a selection of those questions and other various concerns:

  1. What awful thing did Matt do in a past life that has taken him from Broadway star to TV star to… this? Matt’s singing Simon and Garfunkel covers and soft-shoeing. At the same time.  Do these things work together in this context?  Or any context?  Clearly some savvy record company guy thought they would, because alas, this is the community theater/cover band vibe of Matt’s live show.  They even threw one of Michael Buble’s old costumes in there for good measure.
  2. Why do these proceedings make Matt seem like a tool? Matt’s not a tool! Matt is Link Larkin! Ok, bad example, but you know what we mean.
  3. Who thought that a Gene Kelly/Michael Jackson/Patrick Swayze dance medley was a great idea? Matt Morrison?  Someone else?  Matt Morrison?  Whatever the case, he lists these guys as his heroes and then follows up by pirouetting/moonwalking/tapping for a couple of minutes. He also calls them all triple threats which is… incongruous. And not true. And both of those things.
  4. What the hell is this song about Mr. Schuester? And how it’s hard to be Mr. Schuester? And also simultaneously hard to be Matt Morrison? It’s called “My Name” and it’s about Matt’s impending and/or ongoing Glee identity crisis. But if Matt’s having a Glee-related identity crisis, why does his act play like Mr. Schue Live?
  5. Why is Matt Morrison being solidly outsung in a major American concert venue by Joey McIntyre? If you thought that the New Kids on the Block couldn’t possibly compete with the pipes of a trained Broadway performer, think again. The NKOTB have one of their own. Lieutenant Cable vs. Fiyero is, as it turns out, a fair fight, and it’s not looking good for Matt.
  6. Why is there a tambourine solo? Anywhere on earth? For any reason?

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Katie August 2, 2011, 2:26 pm

    Oh man, his album and all the video clips of him performing songs from it were so excruciatingly awkward. Just painful. I really couldn’t deal. Then I caught a clip of him singing “Tonight” with Kelly O’Hara at the Washington DC Fourth of July concert on PBS. That was the first time IN YEARS (since South Pacific!) that I have enjoyed Matt Morrison singing. He is made for Broadway and so much better at it—this whole pop start act is so weird and mildly creepy.

  • Roxanne August 2, 2011, 2:33 pm

    Yes! I saw the “Tonight” performance with Kelli O’hara too! That was the first time in a long time that I have seen the broadway Matthew Morrison.. and not this “big time celebrity” sellout.. I hate to say it.. Where is that Fabrizio voice? Oh how I miss it. :(

  • Alisha August 2, 2011, 2:53 pm

    I saw him open for NKOTBSB and loved him because he was entertaining. I saw Light in the Piazza in 2005 and while I enjoyed his voice that show bored the hell out of me so much a I fell asleep. Maybe someday he’ll come back and do a Broadway show because he says that is where his first love is. Sorry Broadway snobs he belongs to us unwashed masses for now and you won’t be getting him back for a while.

  • Linda August 2, 2011, 3:08 pm

    When Matt Morrison said the whole thing about Gene Kelly/Michael Jackson/Patrick Swayze, I just thought of course those three would be his idols. It kind of explains his multiple personalities. I actually really enjoyed his opening act because it was so amusing, but I do miss the old Matt Morrison. What did you think of the rest of the concert? I went for the Backstreet Boys because I never followed NKOTB, but I really enjoyed their sets too.

  • Lisa August 8, 2011, 1:39 pm

    I’ve never seen him live, but I’ve seen enough clips to know that I infinitely prefer him as a) Matthew Morrison, Broadway star or b) Mr. Schue. Not as Matt Morrison, whatever this incarnation is.

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