Hairspray Live! Tonight on NBC

Posted on December 7, 2016 at 8:00 am

A brand new, all-star version of one of the most irresistible, if improbable, musicals of all time will be shown live on NBC tonight. It’s “Hairspray,” the story of efforts to integrate an afternoon television dance show for teenagers, inspired in part by Baltimore’s real-life “Buddy Deane Show,” which writer/director John Waters watched in the 1960’s, and, like the “Corny Collins Show” in “Hairspray” had twice-monthly “Negro Days.” Watch for former “Hairspray” stars Ricki Lake and Marissa Jaret Winokur in the cast.

The musical is based on the 1988 John Waters film starring Ricki Lake as Tracy Turnblad, and, as her parents, Jerry Stiller and Waters favorite Divine as Edna.

The movie was adapted into a Tony Award-winning musical with songs by Marc Shaiman. It starred Marissa Jaret Winokur, “Glee’s” Matthew Morrison, and, as Edna, Harvey Fierstein, who plays the role in the NBC Live production as well.

John Travolta played Edna Turnblad in the 2007 movie, starring Nikki Blonsky, Elijah Kelley, Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron, and Queen Latifah. Jerry Stiller appeared as the owner of a clothing store.

The play, based on a movie by joyously transgressive filmmaker John Waters is now a beloved musical performed in high schools and around the world. I love every version and will be watching tonight.

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