Following the major success of last season’s The Wiz Live!, NBC has announced that their next live musical presentation is going to be none other than the hair-tastic Hairspray. I’m telling you now that this is going to be a ratings behemoth.
Hairspray is an interesting animal simply because of its production history. John Waters directed the cult classic film in 1988, and then it became a hit Broadway musical in 2002. It cleaned up at the Tony Awards that year (collecting 8 including Best Musical), and then was turned into a critically acclaimed movie musical in 2007. The second film adaptation was nominated for 3 Golden Globes and an Outstanding Ensemble Screen Actors Guild Award.
So why is Hairspray a great choice for NBC? Unlike the grittier Waters original, the musical adaptation is one of the cheeriest musicals of the last 10 years, and its singable score invades your brain for days to come. Tracy Turnblad is a lovable leading lady, and she’s one of the only chubby characters to snag the stud of any musical. The show has a squeaky clean message of tolerance and accepting others, so that will be gold for NBC to capitalize on. The cast is also massive, so NBC could parade a nice sized group of musical all-stars for this show.
The question now is who will star as the pint-sized girl who wants to change the world? Any suggestions?