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From the Stage to the Balcony
Welcome to the Broadway In Detroit in-depth Feature Series: From the Stage to the Balcony.
This series of featured stories will give you a deeper look at our upcoming shows with details from our archives, videos, news from around the web, and more.
We’re excited to welcome the hit musical Hairspray! to the Fisher Theatre in February 2021.
This will be the show’s first time playing at the Fisher Theatre. It made its Detroit debut at the Masonic Temple Theatre in April-May 2005.
The story of Hairspray began with John Waters’ 1988 Movie.
Click HERE for the original Trailer: https://www.imdb.com/video/vi2135275545?playlistId=tt0095270&ref_=tt_ov_vi
While the initial launch of the movie was met with modest success, the advent of Home Video in the 1980s gave the film a pop culture boost. When Broadway producer Margo Lion saw the movie on television in 1998, she set out on a course to bring its story to the stage.
“When Margo Lion, a complete stranger then, called to hire me to write (just) the music for the musical of ‘Hairspray’ that she was dreaming of producing, she saved me and Scott (Wittman) from a life in LA that had become a creative graveyard for our theatrical writing partnership,” Hairspray composer Marc Shaiman wrote on Facebook, remembering Lion after her passing in January this year. “We convinced Margo that we should write the lyrics by writing a few songs on spec (that are all in the show now) and we were on our way.”
And Harvey Firestein, who won a Tony Award for his portrayal of Edna Turnbladt in the original Broadway production added, “How many people have an idea and, through Herculian perseverance and determination, bring that idea to fruition? She was one hell of a person,” (Broadway News https://broadwaynews.com/2020/01/25/hairspray-producer-margo-lion-dies-at-age-75/)
The original Broadway Production of Hairspray had its initial tryout at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre followed by its Broadway opening at the Neil Simon Theatre on August 15, 2002. It would go on to play for more than 2,600 performances and win 8 Tony Awards.
- Best Musical
- Best Book Of A Musical
- Best Original Score
- Best Actor in a Musical (Harvey Fierstein)
- Best Actress in a Musical (Marissa Jaret Winokur)
- Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Dick Latessa)
- Best Costume Design
- Best Direction of a Musical (Jack O’Brien)
It also won 10 Drama Desk Awards that same year.
The show's first national tour played the Masonic Temple Theatre in April 2005 as part of the 2004-2005 Fisher Playgoer Series.
The American Theatre Wing produced a wonderful in-depth video with the original creative team from Hairspray. You can watch this great look at the original production here. https://youtu.be/aKfQYHVc7EQ
Since Hairspray closed its first national tour in June of 2006, the show has gone on to international tours, regional theatre productions, casinos, and cruise ships productions. The beat has been felt throughout the world.
In 2007, a film adaptation of the Broadway Musical was released starring John Travolta, Zac Efron, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken and Queen Latifah. https://youtu.be/HmHW5tcBrVY
The musical made its way into homes again in 2016 when NBC produced the LIVE television event featuring a host of celebrities including Harvey Firestein as Edna Turnbladt. Today, The Shows Must Go On announced that the live presentation this week will be available to watch for Free on their YouTube Channel. The show will launch this Friday at 7:00pm BST and be available for 48 hours. The stream will be available on The Shows Must Go On's YouTube channel for viewers in Europe, Australia, Asia, and Africa.
Recently HAIRSPRAY alumni from numerous productions, along with other professional theater, film and television performers come together for a joyous celebration of song and dance in You Can’t Stop The Beat! The creative team includes David O (co-conceiver, co-director, musical director), Janet Roston (co-conceiver, co-director, choreographer), Marc Shaiman (music and lyrics), Scott Wittman (lyrics), Ally Rice (video editor), Michael Donovan (casting) and Scott M. Riesett (music mixer). The video is produced by Christopher Sepulveda with associate producers Rebecca Eisenberg and Daniel Henning. Support provided by Apples and Oranges Arts, The Foundation for New American Musicals and Boneau/Bryan-Brown. If you are able to help, please visit https://actorsfund.org/youcantstopthe.... If you are in need of help, please visit https://actorsfund.org/gethelp.
Hairspray! Has some great fans and they’ve created a host of really great art inspired by the show. We’ve collected some of our favorites on a Pinterest Board you can check out here.
If you have created your own FAN ART for Hairspray, send it to us at BroadwayInDetroit@gmail.com and we'll add it to our Pinterest Board!
Finally, this all-new touring production will reunite Broadway’s award-winning creative team, led by Director Jack O’Brien and Choreographer Jerry Mitchell, to bring HAIRSPRAY to a new generation of theater audiences. The tour is scheduled to launch in November at Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre and make its way to the Fisher Theatre in February and we can’t wait!