Broadway version reaping the benefits
By GORDON COX
For a while, it looked as if the bouffant of “Hairspray” had begun to sag. Auds started to taper off. A Vegas incarnation shuttered swiftly. Broadway sales were up and down, and there were the inevitable closing rumors.
But a healthy spritz of movie buzz from the screen adaptation (released July 20) has added luster and volume to the Broadway version’s ‘do. And in the wake of the film’s $27.5 million opening weekend, the legit producers are hoping the pic, coupled with casting that reaps a steady trickle of press attention for the stage show, will help “Hairspray” maintain its bounce for seasons to come. . .
Based on the 1988 John Waters movie, the Broadway “Hairspray,” about a zaftig integrationist teenybopper who dreams of being on a 1960s “American Bandstand”-type TV show, became a certifiable hit in 2002, earning rave reviews and eight Tony Awards. Eventually, though, biz declined, and recognition of the property was tough to come by on the road.
But the movie has helped turn things around.
“We had a moment when other people were thinking maybe ‘Hairspray’ was winding down a bit,” says Margo Lion, lead producer with New Line Cinema of the legit version. “But now I feel like I’ve got a show that’s just reopened. The movie has given it a whole new life. . .(Full Story)