The latest musical to get the live NBC treatment is Hairspray, the beloved tale of Tracy Turnblad, a teen who becomes an overnight celebrity after the world sees her dance skills on The Corny Collins Show. Although many associate Hairspray primarily with the Broadway show which debuted in 2002, it was originally a movie that released in 1988 and starred Rikki Lake (who will make a cameo in the NBC version). The NBC production features an amazing cast of talented singers and dancers, some of whom are Broadway veterans. But will Hairspray Live! be all that different from the Broadway show?
It's impossible to fully replicate the magic of watching a Broadway show in person, but NBC's live shows typically do a pretty great job of capturing the excitement of watching a live performance. Plus, it's way more affordable than spending the evening at a Broadway show — and saving money is always something that makes me cheer. (Although, admittedly, not as loudly as I cheer everytime I hear Tracy belt out "Good Morning Baltimore.")
Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, has emphasized that the network strives to keep their musicals as accurate to the stage versions as possible. In a statement quoted by Playbill, Greenblatt said: "In keeping with our desire to bring the best of Broadway to our live musicals, we’ve assembled the Broadway dream team of Tony Award winners for Hairspray Live."
Grenblatt isn't exaggerating — Tony winners/nominees Kristin Chenoweth, Harvey Fierstein, Martin Short, and Sean Hayes star in Hairspray Live!, and we can count on them to successfully bring Broadway to our small screens. And multiple members of the stage production's creative team are also on board, as reported by Variety. Jerry Mitchell, who choreographed the stage version, is the choreographer for Hairspray Live!, the script was written by Harvey Fierstein (who played Edna in the stage version), and Hairspray's stage songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman composed the music for NBC's production.
With multiple members of the Broadway team on board, it seems like Hairspray Live! will be fairly accurate to the stage version. But be warned that two songs from the Broadway show will not be in NBC's production. As reported by Playbill, "The Big Dollhouse" and "The New Girl in Town" have been cut. Additionally, two songs that were written specifically for the 2007 film remake will be featured: “Ladies’ Choice” and “Come So Far (Got So Far to Go).” So the musical numbers will not be completely faithful the Broadway show — but all in all, it seems like fans of the stage production won't be disappointed.
Images: NBC; Giphy