Unlike the past NBC live musical theatre events, Hairspray Live! will be filmed at the Universal Studio lot in California, and directors Kenny Leon and Alex Rudzinski staged multiple scenes outdoors. NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt explains what will happen in the event of rain.
“We do have contingency plans, although we also have very far weather reports, and there is no rain anywhere in the forecast,” he says. “Now, as I say that, I’m knocking wood because up will come the hurricane from Mexico! But we do have plans for every number. There’s five sequences outdoors, and two of them, we can cover, and we would do that the day-of. There are tarps we can put above the tops of the sets, and [two scenes] we’ll just play it in the rain, like it’s raining that day. And, there’s another contingency to take one of the numbers inside if it’s raining, but we don’t think there’s going to be any need to do that.”
That number, he says, is Harvey Fierstein and Martin Short’s duet “Timeless to Me.”
As previously reported, costume designer Mary Vogt said, “The makeup department has already decided that they are going to do waterproof makeup on everything, and our hairdresser is talking about special hairspray that will hold hair more than usual. With the clothes, we may be Scotchgarding some things to try and help with the rain. But, as Derek says, we’ll also be incorporating umbrellas, and for ‘[Good Morning] Baltimore,’ there’ll be a lot of hoods on things, which normally we wouldn’t have.”
Greenblatt also addressed rumors floating around that Hairspray will be revived on Broadway, but he added that the rumblings have nothing to do with the NBC live production.
“I’ve heard some of those rumors, too—that they have been thinking about a revival for the last couple of years or so,” he says, adding that the December 7 broadcast will “put the property up in another big way and [make Hairspray] very visible.”
He continued, “I think in the next year or so, that might happen, but I don’t know anything about it. I’ve just heard those same kinds of rumblings.”