Over the past few years NBC has started a new tradition of sorts. Live broadcasts of Broadway productions around the holiday season. Ranging from the classic Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Sound of Music.” The ever popular “Wizard of Oz.” And even the tale of the boy who longed to never grow-up; “Peter Pan.”
And this year NBC is keeping up the newfound tradition of these broadcasts. The network has already set the stage for this year’s production. It is a trip back to the 1960s with “Hairspray.”
If you are familiar with musical or musical theater, you know just what I am talking about. From the original 1988 film, the 2007 re-make or the Broadway run. Sub-consciously any one of the musical numbers is running though your mind-now!
It’s 1962 in Baltimore, Maryland, and quirky, plus-sized, teenage Tracy Turnblad has one dream: to dance on The Corny Collins Show. When she gets put in detention with the African-American students in the school, they teach her some of their dance moves, and her new found groove wins her a spot on Corny’s show. Overnight, Tracy transforms from a nobody into a star, and uses her newfound influence to advocate for racial integration on the television show. Tracy faces scrutiny and bullying from the network producer, Velma, and her popular, but vicious, daughter, Amber. With the help of the teenage heartthrob Link, host Corny Collins, and Motormouth Maybelle, Tracy overcomes the odds and succeeds in her mission to integrate The Corny Collins Show
Of course with the three versions of the story there are some difference to be found. But the core of the story still remains much so the same.
I must admit that the choice of “Hairspray” did was a bit surprising to me when I first heard about the production. Given the fact the previous shows had been counted as long-time classic. I had though that NBC would continue with that direction. Add in the chain of returns and reboots we have seen. It seemed likely we might even see a brand-new take on a classic story.
But seeing this news was more than a pleasant surprise. “Hairspray” is a lively, and heart-felt story with an upbeat score. I have seen both film versions more times than I can count. So there is a lot of excitement to see it live from the bright lights of New York.
As if having the show be back on-stage was not thrilling enough the casting adds to it. It is great and interesting as well. NBC’s official YouTube account has already posted a preview of the show, including the cast in costume.
Check that out:
It will be great to see them all on-stage and what they will bring to the table.
I already know that there is a lot of excitement from fans of Disney’s series “Liv and Maddie,” as well as “Descendants,” that have been fangirling over Dove Cameron’s casting. As well as from “Teen Beach Musical” Garrett Clayton as the heart-throb Link. Plus devoted fans of Ariana Grande have already taken the Internet by storm over the news.
Even though the broadcast is not until towards the end of the year. There is a lot of excitement that is only going to grow. With any luck NBC will not be teasing us too badly.
Even if you are not a fan of musicals I do encourage everyone to at least give “Hairspray” a chance. Regardless of what version it is a good story. It draws you into its world and leaves you with the songs that you will be stuck in your head months after the fact.
NBC’s telecast of “Hairspray Live!” Is slated for Wednesday, December 7th at 8:00 pm ET/ 5:00 PT.
Join the conversation: What is your stance on musicals? Nay, yay?