HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY BROADWAY FANS! It’s getting closer! We are just 27 days away till Broadway’s biggest night of the year, the 72nd Annual Tony Awards. Our TOP 40 TONY AWARDS COUNTDOWN continues. Are you ready for more spectacular performances?
At # 27 on our countdown, we travel to Baltimore in the year 1962 where a young average teenage girl with big hair, big dreams of dancing on a disc jockey TV show, a big lovable mother (in honor of Mother’s Day), seeks true love, and tries to integrate her dream TV show. This is of course Hairspray. Based on John Waters’ 1988 film of the same name, the musical features a score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman as well as a book by the late Thomas Meehan and Mark O’Donnell.
From the 2003 telecast, the cast performs the show’s anthem and toe tapping finale number YOU CAN’T STOP THE BEAT.
HAIRSPRAY was first conceived as a musical when producer Margo Lion saw the 1988 film on TV in the year 1998. She contacted Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman who were interested in the project. It began a long road of readings and workshops.
Under the direction of Tony winner Jack O’Brien (nominated again this year) and choreography by Jerry Mitchell, HAIRSPRAY had its world premiere run early 2002 at The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle. It was a huge hit, the show was then brought to Broadway’s Neil Simon Theatre a few months later in that same year running for a total of 2,642 performances. It’s still credited as the Neil Simon Theatre’s longest running show ever. The cast consisted of…
Tony winner Harvey Fierstein (later Michael McKean, Bruce Vilanch, Paul Vogt, John Pinette, Blake Hammond, and George Wendt) as “Edna Turnblad”,
Tony winner Marissa Jaret Winokur (later Kathy Brier, Carly Jibson, Shannon Durig, and Marissa Perry) as “Tracy Turnblad”,
Tony nominee Laura Bell Bundy (later Tracy Jai Edwards, Becky Gulsvig, Haylie Duff, Brynn O’Malley, Aubrey O’Day, and Ashley Spencer) as “Amber Von Tussle”,
Linda Hart (later Barbara Walsh, Leah Hocking, Liz Larsen, Isabelle Keating, and Karen Mason) as “Velma Von Tussle”,
Tony nominee Kerry Butler (later Jenn Gambatese, Caissie Levy, Diana DeGarmo, Alexa PenaVega) as “Penny Pingleton”,
Matthew Morrison (later Richard H. Blake, Andrew Rannells, Aaron Tviet, and Ashley Parker Angel) in his breakout role as “Link Larken”,
Corey Reynolds (later Chester Gregory and Tevin Campbell) as “Seaweed J. Stubbs”,
Mary Bond Davis (later Darlene Love and Jennifer Lewis) as “Motormouth Mabel”,
Clarke Thorell (later Jonathan Dokuchitz and Lance Bass) as “Corny Collins”,
And the late Tony winner Dick Latessa (later Stephen DeRosa, Jim J. Bullock, and Jere Burns) as “Wilbur Turnblad”
HAIRSPRAY was nominated for 13 Tony Awards in 2003 winning 8 including Best Musical.
The show went on to become a worldwide hit.
The musical version of HAIRSPRAY was also captured on film twice. The first remake of the original film (featuring songs from the musical) was released in 2007 featuring an all star cast including…
John Travolta as “Edna Turnblad”,
Nikki Blonsky as “Tracy Turnblad”,
Brittany Snow as “Amber Von Tussle”,
Michelle Pfieffer as “Velma Von Tussle”,
Amanda Bynes as “Penny Pingleton”,
Elijah Kelley as “Seaweed J. Stubbs”,
Queen Latifah as “Motormouth Mabel”,
James Marsden as “Corny Collins”,
Christopher Walken as “Wilbur Turnblad”,
The film went on to be nominated for 3 Golden Globes including Best Picture but lost the categories.
Most recently, NBC presented a live televised musical adaptation this past holiday season. Hairspray Live featured a full all-star cast including…
Harvey Fierstein reprising his Tony winning performance as “Edna Turnblad”,
Maddie Baillioas “Tracy Turnblad”,
Dov Cameron as “Amber Von Tussle”,
Tony and Emmy winner Kristin Chenoweth as “Velma Von Tussle”,
Ariana Grande as “Penny Pingleton”,
Ephraim Sykes as “Seaweed J. Stubbs”,
Oscar and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson as “Motormouth Mabel”,
Derek Hough as “Corny Collins”,
Martin Short as “Wilbur,
HAIRSPRAY is continued to be a popular musical performed in schools, community, and regional Theatres everywhere.
Doesn’t this show make you wanna dance?!!!
Original 2002 Broadway cast in a performance of ‘You Can’t Stop The Beat’ at the Tony Awards. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED
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