Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Musical of the Month: Hairspray: The Films

Our Musical of the Month is unique for many reasons, but it may be one of the few (it's the only!) Broadway shows based on a movie, then became a movie on its own, and then became a television movie. But John Waters' Hairspray did just that! What started out as an off-beat, off-kilter cult film became a smash hit Broadway musical, and then became a big-budget hit movie musical, and then became a live TV musical. What is interesting, too, is that with each version, bigger and bigger stars jumped on board to be a part of a quirky Baltimore girl's story.

Musical of the Month:
The Films

(1988 film)
Starring: Ricki Lake, Divine, Debbie Harry, Jerry Stiller, Ruth Brown, Sonny Bono
Cameos: Pia Zadora, Ric Ocasek (of The Cars), John Waters
Written, Produced and Directed by: John Waters
Fun Facts: The film debuted in Baltimore on February 16, 1988. The film made $8.3 million in its initial run. The film's budget was $2.7 million. Debbie Harry was supposed to sing in the film, but her record company wouldn't allow it. Josh Charles was one of the Corny Collins Council members. The following year, Ruth Brown won a Best Actress in a Musical Tony Award for Black and Blue.

(2007 film)
Starring: Nikki Blonski, John Travolta, Christopher Walken, Michelle Pfeiffer, Queen Latifa, James Marsden, Zac Efron, Allison Janney, Amanda Bynes, Brittany Snow
Cameos: Jerry Stiller and Ricki Lake from the original film, John Waters, Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman; singing cameos by Marissa Jaret Winokur, Harvey Fierstein and Corey Reynolds from the Original Broadway Cast
Screenplay by: Leslie Dixon; Produced by: Craig Zadan and Neil Meron; Directed by: Adam Shankman
Fun Facts: The film premiered on July 10, 2007, with a budget of $75 million. Its initial release earned $203.5 million. Many of "The Nicest Kids in Town" were played by Broadway regulars including Curtis Holbrook, Hayley Podschun, Spencer Liff and Phillip Spaeth.

Hairspray Live! 
(2016 TV musical)
Starring: Maddie Baillio, Harvey Fierstein, Martin Short, Kristin Chenoweth, Jennifer Hudson, Ariana Grande, Dove Cameron, Ephraim Sykes, Garret Clayton, Derek Hough, Andrea Martin
Cameos: Ricki Lake, Marissa Jaret Winokur, Sean Hayes, Rosie O'Donnell
Written by: Harvey Fierstein; Produced by: Craig Zadan and Neil Meron; Directed by: Kenny Leon
Fun Facts: The program debuted on NBC on December 7, 2016 with 9.05 million viewers. The show was presented by Darren Criss. The program was nominated for 7 Primetime Emmy Awards, winning 3.

Be sure to join us next week when we take a look at another Musical of the Month!


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