Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Musical of the Month: Hairspray: The Creatives

Last week's Musical of the Month column focused on what has become of the original cast of Hairspray since they took Broadway by storm during the summer of 2002. This week, we'll take a look at what has become of the show's creative team.

Musical of the Month:
Hairspray: The Creatives

The Writers

Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan (Book):
After winning the Tony Award for Hairspray, both gentlemen collaborated on another John Waters film-inspired musical, Cry-Baby, which earned them a Tony nomination. Meehan went on to write the books for Bombay Dreams, Young Frankenstein, Chaplin, Elf, and Rocky. Mr. O'Donnell passed away in 2012. A Broadway legend, Mr. Meehan passed away in 2017.

Marc Shaiman (Music and Lyrics) and Scott Wittman (Lyrics):
The pair won the 2003 Tony Award for Best Score for Hairspray. Since then, the pair has collaborated on Fame Becomes Me, Catch Me If You Can and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The Grammy, Emmy and Oscar nominated duo has also worked on such films as Mary Poppins Returns, and TV programs such as HBO's 61*, and Smash.

The Designers

David Rockwell (Scenic Design):
Since earning his first Tony nomination for Hairspray, Rockwell has designed 25 Broadway productions, including Lucky Guy, Kinky Boots, You Can't Take It With You, and On the Twentieth Century, all of which earned him Tony nods. He finally won his first Tony for the 2016 revival of She Loves Me. His most recent work was last season, with designs for Tootsie and the revival of Kiss Me, Kate.

William Ivey Long (Costume Design):
Long won a 2003 Tony Award for his Hairspray designs. Since then, he's designed costumes for some 34 Broadway shows. Of those, he earned Tony Award nominations for A Streetcar Named Desire, La Cage aux Folles (2005), Grey Gardens (winner), Don't Dress For Dinner, Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella (winner), Bullets Over Broadway, On the Twentieth Century, Tootsie and Beetlejuice.

Kenneth Posner (Lighting Design):
Since his Tony-nominated design for Hairspray, Mr. Posner has been a much sought-after lighting guy, with some 41 additional Broadway productions, including nine that earned him Tony nods: Wicked, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Cost of Utopia: Part II: The Shipwreck (winner), The Merchant of Venice, Other Desert Cities, Kinky Boots, Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella, Pippin and Beetlejuice.

Paul Huntley (Wig & Hair Design):
A true Broadway legend, Mr. Huntley was awarded the 2003 Tony Honor For Excellence in the Theater. Since Hairspray, he and his company have created wigs and designed the hair for an amazing 94 Broadway productions. Among those credits are: revivals of La Cage aux Folles, Sweet Charity, Grease! (twice!), Sweeney Todd, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Pajama Game, The Threepenny Opera, Gypsy. A Little Night Music, and Anything Goes. Original productions include 9 to 5, Grey Gardens, Catch Me If You Can, Fun Home, A Bronx Tale, Tootsie, and currently, Diana.

The Directors

Jerry Mitchell (Choreograher):
Mr. Mitchell received a 2003 Tony nomination for his work on Hairspray. Since then he has either choreographed and/or directed several Broadway shows, including Never Gonna Dance, La Cage aux Folles (2005 - Tony Award), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Legally Blonde, Kinky Boots (Tony nomination - direction, Tony Award - choreography). Over his career, Mitchell is an eight time Tony nominee, two time winner.

Jack O'Brien (Director):
Following Hairspray, Mr. O'Brien has helmed 16 different Broadway plays and musicals, most recently All My Sons and Carousel. He's a three-time Tony Award winner for Hairspray, Henry IV, and The Coast of Utopia, Parts I - III. He was also nominated for his direction of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels


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