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Previewed 11 October 2007, Opened 30 October 2007, Closed 28 March 2010 at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London
Broadway's hit musical comedy Hairspray in London starring Michael Ball
In Hairspray the Musical it's 1962 - the '50s are out and change is in the air. Baltimore's Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, has only one passion - to dance. She wins a spot on the local TV dance programme, The Corny Collins Show and, overnight, is transformed from outsider to irrepressible teen celebrity. But can a trendsetter in dance and fashion vanquish the programme's reigning princess, win the heart of heartthrob Link Larkin, and integrate a television show without denting her 'do? Only in Hairspray! Welcome to the '60s! WINNER! BEST MUSICAL - The Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2007
Hairspray, the stage show, is based upon the film of the same name written and directed by John Waters, with a book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, music by Marc Shaiman, and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Hairspray is directed by Jack O'Brien and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell. Hairspray features an original score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman whose songs take Tracy Turnblad from the soundstage of a 60s-style dance show to the streets of Baltimore to a downtown rhythm and blues record shop.
Hairspray is set in the segregated Sixties in Baltimore, when being fat was a fault but being black was a crime. That means both ten-ton Tracy and skinny, black Inez are turned away from auditions for the title Miss Hairspray 1962. Here's proof that a musical can both have depth and be a send-up of a protest show as light as hairspray. It tackles racial prejudice and fattism with a spring in its step and a goofy tongue in its cheek. The book and lyrics are stuffed with delicious political incorrectness. When Tracy's spectacled, frumpy friend Penny kisses Seaweed Stubbs, she roars: 'Now I've tasted chocolate, I'm never going back.' Seaweed says that, naturally, being black, he has a knife in his pocket; his mom observes that if she gets any more white people in her house, 'it'll be a suburb'. Jack O'Brien's production fizzes with sparkling performances... This is going to be a big, fat award-winning hit. A must-see for every teenage dreamer who believes anything is possible." The Mail on Sunday
The hit Broadway production of Hairspray the Musical opened at The Neil Simon Theatre in August 2002 where it continues to play today. The show won eight Tony Awards including for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score Best Direction of a Musical for Jack O'Brien and Best Costume Design for William Ivey Long along with Best Actor in a Musical for for Harvey Fierstein, Best Actress in a Musical for Marissa Jaret Winokur and Best Featured Actor in a Musical for Dick Latessa. In addition it won the Drama Desk Award for 'Outstanding New Musical', the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Musical, the Outer Critics' Circle Award for Outstanding Broadway Musical, the Drama League Award for Distinguished Production of a Musical and the Grammy Award for 'Best Musical Show Album'.
The original cast for Hairspray in London featured Michael Ball as 'Edna Turnblad' and Mel Smith as 'Wilbur Turnblad'. The role of 'Edna Turnblad' has been played by Michael Ball from 11 October 2007 to 25 July 2009; Brian Conley from 27 July 2009 to 24 October 2009; Phill Jupitus from 26 October 2009 to 31 January 2010; and Brian Conley from 2 February 2010. The role of 'Wilbur Turnblad' has been played by Mel Smith from 11 October 2007 to 26 January 2008; Ian Talbot from 28 January 2008; Nigel Planer from 2 February 2009 to 24 October 2009; Tony Timberlake 26 October 2009 to 31 January 2010; and Micky Dolenz from 2 February 2010.
Hairspray the Musical in London at the Shaftesbury Theatre previewed from 11 October 2007 and opened on 30 October 2007.