Release date: 2002.
Type: Broadway musical.
Book by Thomas Meehan and Mark O'Donnell.
Based on John Waters' film Hairspray.
Music by Marc Shaiman. Lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
The original Broadway production opened on 15 August 2002 and was directed by Jack O'Brien with choreography by Jerry Mitchell.
The cast recording for the Broadway musical of John Waters's 1988 paean to dance, music, big beautiful women, and integration is a sheer delight. It's wonderfully upbeat all the way through, with a classic feel that's in keeping with the story's setting in the early 1960s. The characters come alive in these songs, from Marissa Jaret Winokur's (Tracy Turnblad) opening lines in "Good Morning Baltimore" to the stunningly upbeat finale, "You Can't Stop the Beat." The music is by Marc Shaiman, whose recent projects include South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, as well as a number of film soundtracks, and his compositions are simultaneously solid and exuberant.
Shaiman and Scott Wittman's lyrics brim over with the unreserved passions and primary-color emotions that made the film so successful. Regardless of one's familiarity with the story or the stage production, it's hard to avoid the appeal of this recording; even the less cheerful songs are awash in bright colors, without disrespect for their subjects.