Samuel Goldwyn Theater
8949 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Featuring a cast and crew reunion with writer-director John Waters, cast members Ricki Lake, Deborah Harry, Mink Stole, Clayton Prince, Pia Zadora and Colleen Fitzpatrick. Hosted by Oscar-winning writer-director Barry Jenkins.
Set in 1962 Baltimore, indie cult classic Hairspray follows Tracy Turnblad (played by Ricki Lake in her breakout role), an overweight, dance-crazy teenager who dreams of appearing on a local televised dance party, “The Corny Collins Show.” She auditions for and lands a coveted spot on “The Council” – the kids who dance on the show every day. Tracy faces numerous obstacles, including those posed by her nemesis, the prejudiced and stuck-up Amber Von Tussle thought by home viewers to be the prettiest girl on Baltimore TV. Ultimately, Tracy uses her newfound celebrity to fight for the issues she believes in, particularly fat liberation, racial justice and integration.
Known for his shocking, outrageous trash comedies such as Mondo Trasho (1969), Multiple Maniacs (1970), Pink Flamingos (1972) and Female Trouble (1974), writer-director John Waters surprised audiences in 1988 with his “family friendly” PG-rated Hairspray. Staying true to his roots, Waters set Hairspray in his hometown and chose to feature Divine, a longtime muse for Waters since his early days of filmmaking, in the dual roles of Tracy’s supportive mother and the bigoted owner of the TV station that sponsors Corny’s show.
Inspired by Waters’s 1985 essay “Ladies and Gentlemen…The Nicest Kids in Town,” Hairspray explores his obsession with the local Baltimore dance show “The Buddy Deane Show,” which ran from 1957 to 1964, as well as themes of celebrity culture, discrimination and the triumph of the underdog. Hairspray went on to inspire a Tony-winning Broadway musical starring Harvey Fierstein and the 2007 Hollywood remake starring John Travolta.
Written and directed by John Waters. Produced by Rachel Talalay.
Cast: Sonny Bono, Ruth Brown, Divine, Debbie Harry, Ricki Lake, Jerry Stiller, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Michael St. Gerard, Leslie Ann Powers, Clayton Prince, Mink Stole, Pia Zadora.
92 minutes. 35mm. Courtesy of Warner Bros.
This program is supported in part by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.