By Kenneth Jones
15 Aug 2007
On Aug. 15, 2002, the Jack O'Brien-directed production of the musical inspired by Johns Waters' film opened to positive notices and enthusiastic crowds. At the time, some considered a summer opening to be risky — the boost of Tony nominations was nine months away, after all. It would win the 2003 Tony Award for Best Musical, plus a bucket of other Tonys.
Creators and former cast members expected to be in attendance at the Thursday performance or after-party are Kathy Brier, Laura Bell Bundy, Kerry Butler, Diana DeGarmo, four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein, Chester Gregory, Linda Hart, Jackie Hoffman, Tony winner Dick Latessa, Tony-winning composer and co-lyricist Marc Shaiman, Tony-winning co-lyricist Scott Wittman and Tony-winning co-librettist Mark O'Donnell (his co-writer, Thomas Meehan, is shepherding Young Frankenstein in Seattle at the moment).
Jerry Mitchell choreographed the musical.
The current cast of Hairspray includes Lance Bass as Corny, Ashley Parker Angel as Link, Shannon Durig as Tracy, Tevin Campbell as Seaweed, Darlene Love as Motormouth Maybelle, Jerry Mathers as Wilbur, Niki Scalera as Penny Pingleton, Naturi Naughton as Inez and Paul C. Vogt as Edna.
Broadway's Hairspray has been enjoying 100 percent capacity business this summer, perhaps helped in recent weeks by the July release of the screen adaptation, starring John Travolta, Queen Latifah, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Zac Efron, Nikki Blonsky and more.
The show's average ticket price is $78, according to figures released by the League of American Theatres and Producers.
The Neil Simon Theatre is located at 250 W. 52nd Street. The after-party will be held at Spotlight Live.