Skip to main content

I want to move to Baltimore. I've loved that city almost as much as I love NYC, since I was a child.

And, y'know, blue crabs.

In 1962 Baltimore, Maryland, plump teenager Tracy Turnblad's dream is to dance on The Corny Collins Show, a local TV dance program based on the real-life Buddy Deane Show.[1] When Tracy wins a role on the show, she becomes a celebrity overnight. She then launches a campaign to integrate the show. Hairspray is a social commentary on the injustices of parts of American society in the 1960s.

Apologies: the sound quality isn't what I would have wished. The performances, however, are exquisite:

Originally posted to Theatricals on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by An Ear for Music, Maryland Kos, and What are you watching?.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  heh. (20+ / 0-)

    Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    by Youffraita on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 03:26:19 PM PDT

  •  Oh, and a response (10+ / 0-)

    to last night's Top Comments:

    Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    by Youffraita on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 05:04:28 PM PDT

  •  I loved both movies (9+ / 0-)

    and I'll always love Baltimore.

    Shop Liberally this holiday season at Kos Katalog

    by JamieG from Md on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 05:26:43 PM PDT

  •  Love that show (9+ / 0-)

    And lived in those times.
    I really wonder what people who came of age in the 80's and 90's make of it.  It's still a really popular show, but I suspect a lot of the appreciative audience only intellectually accept that the circumstances are "real".

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 05:29:34 PM PDT

  •  Being a Baltimore native, (7+ / 0-)

    I revel in John Waters' celebration of the city of my birth (and his, too).  He really did hit the jackpot with Hairspray, though.  I think he had the idea that he'd be spending his career making odd little movies about the odd characters that populate Baltimore.  And then the original movie Hairspray took off.

    I turned 3 in 1962, so I can't say anything about the verisimilitude of the styles (though I do recall my aunt wearing her hair in a beehive--come to think of it, she would have been Tracy Turnblad's age exactly.  I'd raise the topic if I weren't sure she would have no clue what I was talking about.).  I would still venture to say that the story portrayal of race relations at that time is not inaccurate.  However, I would bet that local shows at that time were broadcast in black and white rather than color.  Of course, my family didn't get a color TV until the late '60s, so I can't say for absolute certain.

    -5.13,-5.64; If you gave [Jerry Falwell] an enema, you could bury him in a matchbox. -- Christopher Hitchens

    by gizmo59 on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 05:39:49 PM PDT

  •  That was such a fun show! (4+ / 0-)

    Saw it a few years back when Michael McKean played
    Mrs. Turnblad.

    I was up dancing at the end--took some effort to hold
    back till then :)

  •  The original Hairspay only please (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JamieG from Md, jabney

    can't stand knockoffs aka remakes.  Found it disgusting for my favorite GLBT film festival to displace a movie for the local preview of Hairspray starring the Scientologist, in-the-closet, John Travolta.  There shall only ever be one Divine - no imitations please.

    Seriously, don't ever attempt to redo a John Waters movie - it is already perfection.  My favorite being Cecil B. Demented.

    "There is no barrier of people's acceptance. The only barrier is the media. Remember what people cannot see or hear, they cannot think about." - liner notes of Soft Cell's 'The Art of Falling Apart'.

    by dugjxn on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 05:51:01 PM PDT

    •  Well, you are welcome (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gizmo59, jabney, Ahianne, efrenzy

      to your own opinions, of course.

      But John Waters was pleased with the Broadway version, I think.

      Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

      by Youffraita on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 06:06:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't agree with you (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Youffraita, gizmo59, mama jo, jabney, Ahianne

      but I understand your point. The original Hairspray was brilliant, but not designed to appeal to the mainstream audience. I remember showing it to a friend and she scoffed me for liking it. She just didn't get it.

      The remake made the message more accessible to more people.

      For example, what I got out of viewing the original movie was the likeness of the prejudice toward African Americans and the prejudice toward fat people. It was very subtle and  I don't think most people got that.

      But in the remake, that message was much more obvious.

      I don't say I like one more than the other since seeing the first made me appreciate the second more than I would have otherwise. And vice versa.  

      Shop Liberally this holiday season at Kos Katalog

      by JamieG from Md on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 06:13:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  heh...the original (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jabney, JamieG from Md, efrenzy

        was, iirc, the closest John Waters ever got (up to that point) to reaching a mass audience.

        I mean, have you ever seen his Pink Flamingos? I have...and I highly rec only watching it with chemical help.

        Hairspray was totally middle of the road...for him. But you're right, the message came through, and then came through more clearly in the stage version.

        Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

        by Youffraita on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 06:19:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I didn't see Pink Flamingos (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          My husband and sister saw it and told me about it and I just didn't feel like seeing it was going to enhance my life.

          Shop Liberally this holiday season at Kos Katalog

          by JamieG from Md on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 09:48:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  w00t! (0+ / 0-)

            Definitely not going to enhance your life.

            It was what you did when you were in college in the 1970s and dating a stoner. And the film came to campus.

            Not going to say I wish I'd never seen it. But I am certainly glad I was stoned when I saw it.

            John Waters's more recent works have been better in every way.

            Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

            by Youffraita on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 02:49:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Saw the version with John Travolta. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Youffraita, JamieG from Md, Ahianne

    I liked the way the movie handled the cultural transition between the early 60s (bouffant hair on the young ladies) and the late 60s (long, straight hair on young women), among other, subtle changes.

    Big times, undoubtedly. I'd have liked to have been there.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 05:54:51 PM PDT

  •  a 70's theatre reunion at our alma mater (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Youffraita, Ahianne, efrenzy

    In the 70's I was fortunate to live in a town that had a great local musical theater group for high school & college students that was founded & directed by the 8th grade choir and music teacher in 1969 and a high school with an awesome teacher who had been hired for english in 1966 but by 1969 had created a drama club, theater classes and a Thespian Troup. I, like most kids, belonged to both groups. The directors staggered shows and during 1973-77 while in high school there was never a time of the year that I was not involved in some form of a production. I continued working on productions with the local group through college up until 1980. I made hundreds of friends during the rehearsals and performances of dozens of shows.

    In the summer of 2010, two of these long lost friends found each other on Facebook. One was living in Chicago and the other had recently moved back to our hometown. They arranged to meet up a few weeks later. During the visit they made a trip over to a parents house (we all knew each others parents) where the mother (Mrs. "C" - she was a co-worker of mine for a time at a newspaper job during college)  suggested that my two friends should have a reunion and that they should schedule it to conincide with our alma mater's spring '11 performances of "Hairspray".

    Well that little idea from Mrs. "C" became one of the most memorable weekends of my life. After 6 months of dedicated work from a dozen or so old thespian friends (commonly referred to as"The Beloved Committee") in the spring of '11, around 175 former actors, dancers, musicians and technicians from the 1970's attended the Friday night performance of "Hairspray" at the new high school (that looks like a college campus and has a state of the art theater that many colleges would envy). The director and current drama teacher was one of us! So was the set & lighting designer who has the enviable job as tech director for the entire school district.
    Here's short clip of what we saw (Excellent! in our biased opinions)


    On Sat. afternoon we toured  (actually free access to roam everywhere) our old high school which is now one of two middle schools, both having full theaters with equipment that matches the high school. Nothing from our days in the 70's remains except for the grafitti & messages left by many of us in the set storage room true ceiling above the drop ceiling tiles. They are all still there and it looks like they may last as long as the building does.

    On Sat. night we had a huge gala as the first event in our hometowns newly re-opened & rennovated century old movie theater (the newly hired theatredirector & manager was one of us as well) replete with red carpet interviews. Programs designed like "Playbill" with attendee and "wish they were there" biographies were distributed. The lobby, aisles nooks and crannies had easels filled with programs, posters & news paper articles. Catered food and drinks filled the stage. Four times during the evening the screen would drop and the emcees (the 2 individuals who started it all) would introduce dvds that were created. One dvd was full of pictures w/music from performances from all of the shows. Another was full of behind the scenes/in street clothes set to music from the seventies. There was also an im memoriam tribute ... hard for many ... not everyone knew that some of us had passed on. The final dvd was an interview recently conducted outside of the theatre in NYC where our most famous old friend & co-thespian (Laurie Metcalf of "Rosanne" & "Desparately Seeking Susan" fame) was performing and regrettably unable to attend. Both of our old directors were in attendance and I am pretty sure that they enjoyed it more than anyone.

    On Sunday morning we all met informally most of the morning at the Country Club's Sunday brunch buffet banquet room.

    If you have managed to make it to the end of this long comment and if you use to belong to a theater or thespian troup ... do yourself a favor ... find an old friend and plan a reunion!

    •  Love your sig line... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JamieG from Md

      and love your comment.

      BTW, I'm a fan of Laurie Metcalf. Wish I'd been able to see her on Bway recently.

      Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

      by Youffraita on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 09:26:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site