Michael C. Hall will star in what may be the strangest Super Bowl commercial that’s not a Super Bowl commercial: The star will appear live in a one-performance-only half-hour Broadway musical for Skittles on the afternoon of the big game.
Skittles had previously announced its decision to stage a half-hour live musical event in lieu of a typical Super Bowl ad, with some proceeds going to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. And while the large ensemble cast had also been revealed, the identity of the star of the show was a mystery – until today.
So, is it real? Yes. Hall – whose stage credits include Cabaret and the David Bowie musical Lazarus – actually will perform in Skittles Commercial: The Broadway Musical at The Town Hall theater in Times Square on February 3 at 1 PM. Ticket prices, via Ticketmaster, range from $30-$205.
“To celebrate the biggest marketing day of the year, Skittles wanted to go bigger than the traditional 30-second big game ad,” the candy maker says. “Skittles Commercial: The Broadway Musical is a one-show-only, live 30-minute spectacle, performed in the heart of Times Square in a 1,500 seat Broadway theater. Through song and dance, the show takes an absurdly self-reflective look at consumerism and the ever-increasing pervasiveness of brand advertising in our lives.”
Confused? So is Hall’s psychiatrist, at least in a video in which the Dexter star tries to explain what, exactly, he’ll be doing on the afternoon of Sunday, February 3, and why.
“You have to buy a ticket to see an ad?” asks the stage actress playing the shrink in the commercial video for the commercial musical (Watch it above).
“It’s a live Skittles musical ad performed in a Broadway theater,” Hall explains. “Why is this so confusing to everyone?” (There’s also a scarecrow, representing the manifestation of Hall’s anxiety over the project.)
“Nobody here is judging you,” says the psychiatrist. “We just think you make terrible career decisions.”
After a defensive Hall announces he’ll never make another ad again, the house lights rise on a clapping audience to reveal his counseling session has been a stage production itself. He gets a standing ovation.
The Skittles musical’s book is written by playwright Will Eno, whose recent Off Broadway production Thom Pain (based on nothing) starred Hall.
Drew Gasparaini, whose song “Good For You” was featured in NBC’s Smash, is composing the music for Skittles, with Nathaniel Lawlor writing lyrics and additional book material. Sarah Benson, the artistic director of Off Broadway’s Soho Rep, will direct, and Hall’s co-stars will include stage performers Melvin Abston, Max Chernin, Ashkon Davaran, Lulu Fall, Stephanie Gibson, David Hess, Mylinda Hull, Miguel Jarquin-Moreland, Howard Kaye, Kathy Kneese, Raymond J. Lee, Julia Macchio, Will Mann, Mike McGowan, Gayle Turner and Mark Zimmerman.
Take a look at the promo above. And if you can explain the scarecrow, have at it.