I meant to share this weeks ago, and I’ve been looking for more uplifting content to post. This certainly fits the bill.
Alumni of the hit Broadway musical, Hairspray, created this virtual reunion performance of the show’s finale “You Can’t Stop the Beat” to raise money for the Actors Fund of America.
While the word ‘actor’ is used in the name of the organization, the group actually helps all people who work in the theater including ushers, musicians, wardrobe folks, and more.
The super-infectious, feel-good video is simply pure joy.
Beginning with three Tracy Turnblads – Ricki Lake (from the original John Waters’s original 1988 classic), Marissa Jaret Winokur (who created the role on Broadway), and Nikki Blonsky (from the musical film version in 2007) – stars including Harvey Fierstein, Andrea Martin, Matthew Morrison, Kristin Chenoweth, Andrew Rannells, Laura Bell Bundy, Alex Newell, Sean Hayes, and Randy Rainbow all take part alongside the ensemble alumni.
Hairspray might be set in the ’60s, but the stars of NBC’s upcoming live version of the film and Broadway show think it has a lot to say about modern times, too. “The subject of Hairspray is very current to today,” Jennifer Hudson, who plays Motormouth Maybelle, says in a new featurette. She later explains, “To me, the power in Hairspray is no matter your size, your color, where you’re from, what type of lifestyle you live, it celebrates everyone.”
Hairspray got its start in 1988 as a film, written and directed by John Waters. That version starred a young Ricki Lane as Tracy Turnblad, a plus-size teen girl determined to dance on a local television show, redefine their beauty standards, and desegregate the cast. It then became a Broadway musical, and Adam Shankman directed a feature film adaptation in 2007. Now, Hairspray is the latest in NBC’s slate of live musical broadcasts.
Watch Hairspray Live! on Wednesday, December 7 at 8/7c on NBC.
This year’s LIVE! musical from NBC is the bouncy and bold Hairspray, complete with original Broadway star, the incomparable Harvey Fierstein in full “Edna Turnblad” drag.
We got a taste of the upcoming television production on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade today. A great reminder why this show was a huge hit in 2002 with 8 Tony Award wins and over 2,500 performances.
Check out “You Can’t Stop The Beat” below with that fab Jerry Mitchell choreography. If this doesn’t make you smile, you might want to check your pulse.
Hairspray LIVE! premieres December 7th at 8PM ET/7PM CT.
Get your first look at the upcoming Hairspray Live! set to air December 7 at 8PM ET/PT featuring an all-star cast: Harvey Fierstein as “Edna Turnblad,” Jennifer Hudson as “Motormouth Mabel,” Martin Short as “Wilbur Turnblad,” Derek Hough as “Corny Collins,” Ariana Grande as “Penny Pingleton,” Andrea Martin as “Prudy Pingleton” and Kristin Chenoweth as “Velma Von Tussle.”
I know the show well and I have to say this is dream casting across the board. I can’t imagine any better than this.
In addition to being the best “Edna Turnblad” ever (Tony Award don’t you know?) Harvey Fierstein will provide a new teleplay and original Broadway choreographer Jerry Mitchell (“Kinky Boots,” “On Your Feet,” “The Full Monty,” “Legally Blonde”) will bring the moves as choreographer. I have to admit I missed Jerry’s choreography in the movie version.
Most excellent casting news for the upcoming live presentation of the Broadway smash-hit Hairspray.
Not only will Academy/Grammy/Golden Globe winner Jennifer Hudson take on the role of “Motormouth Maybelle” (and her show-stopping “I Know Where I’ve Been”), but Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein will reprise his leading role of “Edna Turnblad.”
In my opinion, there’s never been a better “Edna.”
Via press release:
“We are beyond thrilled with this incredibly talented duo of stars for ‘Hairspray Live!,’” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “Harvey Fierstein created the role of Edna Turnblad on Broadway in an indelible Tony-winning performance that demanded to be memorialized on film, and we’re happy he wanted to step into her shoes one last, unforgettable time. We’re also so grateful that the incomparable Jennifer Hudson will play Motormouth Maybelle and we know her rendition of ‘I Know Where I’ve Been’ will literally stop the show.”
Based on the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, “Hairspray Live!” takes place in 1962 Baltimore. Teenager Tracy Turnblad’s dream is to dance on “The Corny Collins Show,” a local TV program. When, against all odds, Tracy wins a role on the show, she becomes a celebrity overnight and meets a colorful array of characters, including the resident dreamboat, Link; the ambitious mean girl, Amber; an African-American boy she meets in detention, Seaweed; and his mother, Motormouth Maybelle, the owner of a local record store. Tracy’s mother is the indomitable Edna Turnblad, and she eventually encourages Tracy on her campaign to integrate the all-white “Corny Collins Show.”
Harvey Fierstein, who is also writing the teleplay, will play Edna Turnblad, a role he created and won a Tony Award for in the stage version of “Hairspray.” The quintessential Edna, Fierstein portrayed the character for the show’s first two years of its seven-year run at the Neil Simon Theatre on Broadway.
The production will air live on NBC on December 7th at 8PM ET/PT.