I went to Skittles Commercial: The Broadway Musical because you couldn’t.
I spent damn near fifty dollars on my ticket and considered buying a t-shirt at the end. But please, don’t congratulate me for not buying the merch, this was for charity. I could’ve bought the shirt, but it had a hashtag on the front and I really hate that. The back was a full color bag of Skittles which I would have gladly worn on the front of a shirt; the hashtag was #AdvertisingRuinsEverything which I would not. There must be a lot going on with my identity that I am cool with wearing one of these things and not the other.
I went to my seat in the balcony immediately because I went alone and don’t know how to be alone publicly. I sat in a sea of people taking pictures of their Playbills with the stage blurred just right in the background. It took several attempts for each of them to get the shot.
The stage was an active bodega pre-show. Ashkon Davaran, an Off-Broadway and viral video star sold Skittles to audience members storming the set for pictures of fake shelves. I really thought I was going to get free Skittles. Damn.
I got caught in the background of a row selfie, these gals were fucking amped. One of the young women explained the show Dexter to her friend, who had never heard of Michael C Hall. So I guess she just… really likes Skittles? Looking around the un-branded theater I couldn’t help but feel unmotivated to buy Skittles. If it weren’t for the hundreds of Playbills risen to eye level, there would be no way to know this was a Skittles event/commercial/musical/experience.
Did they have a Fyre Festival style disaster or do they really think #AdvertisingRuinsEverything? In which case… how as a brand can you feel? Why… do this? So it must be poor planning that there isn’t a booth where you can contract Skittles pox and have a GIF made of it. My god, I thought, ‘When people are done taking pictures of their Playbills, WHAT WILL THEY DO?’
The curtains closed just as I had this terrifying thought, and the show began with an extremely simple light show on the curtain that went on far too long and worried me. What if this was the whole thing? Then, fucking-thank-God, they open on the bodega we all know and love from minutes ago. It was a fever dream, bizarre and building to something, yet sometimes cringe-y. My favorite moment in this act is a break in the space-time continuum where the bodega owner has to defend his store from the unknown with a broom while everyone else is frozen. This scene lasts maybe 5 seconds.
Michael C Hall is dressed like a cat, but plays himself, he sings the first number, “This Might Have Been A Bad Idea.” The cast in the store falls away as audience plants begin shouting at Michael that they don’t get what’s going on. Hyper-Meta the rainbow. Taste the rainbow. Then, actor Melvin Abston (Little Mermaid, Lion King, Sister Act) stands up and says he is from St. Petersburg, FL for no reason. This fucks me right up because I am from St. Petersburg, FL and now I think this whole thing is a dream and I need to wake up and go to a hospital.
Michael then leaves the stage, the curtains close, and an announcement says the show is over. Made sense to me. It’s over, sure. What was I expecting? BUT WAIT:
The set is now what you see outside the theater. The audience plants are on-stage, pissed about the show and specifically at Michael C Hall for doing the show. He ‘exits the theater’ by entering stage right and they hop right on him, they all Perform “Advertising Ruins Everything” and then shit gets GOOD. They tear through the backdrop and an inverse version of the original bodega is behind them. That other universe’s bodega owner protects their store with a broom but it doesn’t work. The cast destroys the bodega. There are Skittles everywhere. A man takes his shirt off and bathes in a Skittles shower spewing from a vent. The cast is throwing chunks of the set haphazardly into the audience. Michael C Hall is dead.
Michael C Hall is dead.
In purgatory or something like it, a bear walks through fog blanketing the ground near Michael’s body and exits. Michael enters dressed in white and flanked with chains. A man approaches him, who is it? Yes. You guessed it, it is none other than Winston Churchill. He tells Michael the time for questions is over and then goes on about war for a bit, as he is wont to do. Amelia Earhart follows the path of the bear, almost leaving the stage silently before she confirms her identity and disappears.
Am I alive? Was I ever alive? Oh another song!! The cast comes back, there was a silver-lining, they sold almost 600 packets of Skittles at the show! Michael reminds them he is dead, but they are too proud of their success. Stephanie Gibson (Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, Cinderella, Addams Family, Spamalot) performs a quick-change so fast that I can’t say with certainty that’s what happened. To be fair though, I don’t now for sure that any of this happened. Drop the banner: Broadway the Rainbow. Taste the Rainbow.
It’s really over this time. I wonder if any of this will show up in a commercial during the Super Bowl tonight as they consistently assured us it would not. I feel like Chuckie in Good Will Hunting. The best part of my day today will be hoping Skittles don’t run an ad tonight, but I know they will. But I don’t care as much about Skittles as Chuckie does about Will. Skittles is already part of a hugely successful candy conglomerate. Skittles have been around for 45 years. They don’t need me, they didn’t even need Michael C Hall. They did kill him, after all.
As Winston Churchill said in Skittles Commercial: The Broadway Musical, “Alas, ta ta.”