Reporting: Monessa Guilfoil
“Hairspray” opens at CTC on July 1st and runs through the 24th, 2011. The Broadway musical is written by Thomas Meehan and Mark O’Donnell with music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Whitman. This musical is based on the 1988 film of the same name by John Waters and is based on Water’s experiences growing up in Baltimore.
IMDB.com has published a “mini biography” of John Waters here listing some of the film director’s trade marks below:
All his movies are set in Baltimore.
Frequently casts Patricia Hearst.
Casts Mink Stole in nearly all of his films.
Films combine outrageous subject matter with a sense of humor.
Many of his characters have alliterated names (Dawn Davenport, Francine Fishpaw, Tracy Turnblad, Penny Pingleton, Sylvia Stickles).
Pencil-thin moustache and camp personality
His favorite childhood memory was seeing real blood on the seat of a wrecked car when visiting a scrap yard and fantasizing about lethal car crashes.
As a youth he would watch adult-only films at the local drive-in, with binoculars.
He is obsessed with true-crime and used to regularly attend gory trials all over the US, where he often saw the same faces in the public galleries.
Older brother of Steve Waters.
Subscribes to more than 80 magazines. Also goes to see just about every movie that comes out and hardly ever rents movies.
Has taught classes at the Patuxent Institution, a correctional facility located halfway between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The classes are meant as rehabilitation therapy for convicted killers, in which they learn to write about their violent fantasies rather than act them out.
Waters has always been very gracious in acknowledging his creative influences, such as Russ Meyer, Otto Preminger, Liberace, William Castle, Herschell Gordon Lewis, Jayne Mansfield, Robert Bresson, and Pier Paolo Pasolini.
As a youth, he made as much as $50 a week doing puppet shows for the neighborhood children, and was often hired to entertain at birthday parties. He stated that many of his puppet shows were inspired by the gimmick-heavy films of William Castle.
Chattanooga Theatre Centre writes about this musical:
Broadway’s Big Fat Musical Comedy Hit – Book by Thomas Meehan and Mark O’Donnell, Music and Lyrics by Marc Shaiman. Lyrics by Scott Wittman
It’s 1962, and pleasantly plump Baltimore teen Tracy Turnblad has only one desire – to dance on the popular Corny Collins Show. When her dream comes true, Tracy is transformed from social outcast to sudden star, but she must use her newfound power to vanquish the reigning Teen Queen, win the affections of heartthrob Link Larkin and integrate a TV network – all without denting her ‘do! Don’t miss HAIRSPRAY, Broadway’s musical-comedy phenomenon that inspired a major motion picture and won eight 2003 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. As The New York Times says, “If life were everything it should be, it would be more like HAIRSPRAY. It’s irresistible!”
Here’s their promo video:
Listen to the Story with CTC director George Quick and actors Jermaine Purifory and Gracie Bramlett: