Hairspray to Close Jan. 4, 2009; Fierstein Returns Nov. 11

News   Hairspray to Close Jan. 4, 2009; Fierstein Returns Nov. 11
Hairspray, the Tony Award-winning musical hit that spawned tours and a Hollywood movie version, will close Jan. 4, 2009, the producers announced on Oct. 22. Original Tony-winning star Harvey Fierstein will join the company Nov. 11 and play to the close.
Harvey Fierstein in Hairspray.
Harvey Fierstein in Hairspray. Photo by Paul Kolnik

When it ends, the musical based on the 1988 John Waters film of the same name will have played 2,641 performances and 31 previews at the Neil Simon Theatre. A report in Variety indicates that the producers of Dirty Dancing — The Classic Story on Stage are eyeing the Simon for fall 2009, but the Simon is a coveted venue, and it's likely many producers are circling it.

Hairspray has currently grossed over $265 million during its Broadway run. The musical has book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan and a score by Marc Shaiman (music and lyrics) and Scott Wittman (lyrics). Jack O'Brien directed. (They all won Tony Awards for the work, and choreographer Jerry Mitchell was nominated).

Hairspray had its world premiere at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre on June 12, 2002.

The musical opened on Broadway Aug. 15, 2002, to ecstatic reviews and later that season went on to win every major Best Musical award, including the Tony Award, New York Drama Critics Circle Award, Drama Desk Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award. In all Hairspray won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book of a Musical, Best Direction, Best Actor in a Musical, Best Actress in a Musical, Best Featured Actor in a Musical, and Best Costume Design.

Fierstein will reprise his Tony-winning performance as "the dangerously devoted stage mother Edna Turnblad," for which he slipped into a drab housecoat. The success of the 2007 film and the Broadway show has prompted New Line to engage original Hairspray creator John Waters to write a treatment for a sequel to the musical film, which would include new songs by Shaiman & Wittman, and is tentatively scheduled to be released in summer 2010.

In 2007 a production of Hairspray opened in London's West End, starring Michael Ball, and was named Best New Musical in the Olivier Awards.

In Hairspray, "it's 1962 — the '50s are out and change is in the air. Baltimore's Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, has only one passion — to dance. She wins a spot on the local TV dance program, 'The Corny Collins Show' and, overnight, is transformed from outsider to irrepressible teen celebrity. But can a trendsetter in dance and fashion vanquish the program's reigning princess, win the heart of heartthrob Link Larkin, and integrate a television show without denting her 'do?"

Hairspray currently stars Marissa Perry as Tracy Turnblad, George Wendt as Edna Turnblad, Karen Mason as Velma Von Tussle, Tevin Campbell as Seaweed J. Stubbs, Charlotte Crossley as Motormouth Maybelle, Kate Loprest as Amber Von Tussle, Ken Marks as Wilbur Turnblad, Kevin Meaney as Male Authority Figure, Susan Mosher as Female Authority Figure, Constantine Rousouli as Link Larkin, Niki Scalera as Penny Pingleton, Clarke Thorell as Corny Collins and Melissa VanPelt as Inez.

For Hairspray ticket information, phone Ticketmaster at (212) 307-4100, or for group sales, phone (212) 302-7000 or (800) 677-1164.

Same-day, lottery tickets are sold at the box office for seats in the first row of the orchestra. For more information about Hairspray, visit

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