Tuesday, April 15, 2003

'Hairspray' finishes Broadway series lineup

By Jackie Demaline
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Hairspray, the odds-on favorite to win this year's Tony Award for best musical, will fill the TBA slot in Fifth Third Bank's Broadway in Cincinnati 2003-04 season.

It will squeeze into the fall schedule Dec. 2-14, between Thoroughly Modern Millie and The Graduate.

Broadway in Cincinnati also announces a change in schedule. Movin' Out, the Billy Joel-Twyla Tharp collaboration, has been postponed. It will be replaced by Susan (The Producers) Stroman's revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!, playing April 13-25.

Hairspray, based on the John Waters cult film, is a pastel party of big hair and big dreams. Set in 1962 Baltimore, tubby 16-year-old Tracy Turnblad sets out to dance her way onto local TV's popular teen show.

"We worked our rear ends off" to get Hairspray, says Brad Broecker, vice president of strategic marketing for Clear Channel Entertainment's theater division.

Notes Broecker: "Do not underestimate the importance of Rick Steiner living in Cincinnati." Cincinnati native Steiner is among the producers of Hairspray and The Producers.

Subscriptions for next season, which also includes Urinetown, The Full Monty and Dame Edna, are available by calling (800) 294-1816 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays; visiting the Broadway in Cincinnati ticket office in the Mercantile Center, 120 E. Fourth St. from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays; or online at BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com.

The rest of the schedule:

Oct. 21-Nov. 2 - Urinetown, born at the New York International Fringe Festival, moved into the mainstream to win Tony Awards for best direction, book, music and lyrics. It's a gleeful spoof of corporate greed and political corruption in a town with a desperate water shortage where pay potties cost big bucks. (One song laments "It's a Privilege to Pee.") The New York Times called it "simply the most galvanizing theater experience in town."

Nov. 18-30 - Thoroughly Modern Millie won six 2002 Tonys, including best musical. It's based on the 1967 movie about a Jazz Age heroine who finds love and adventure in the big city.

Dec. 16-28 - The Graduate is the nonmusical series entry. It was soundly trashed by New York critics. Adapted from the film classic starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, it's a love triangle between na‘ve Benjamin Braddock, seductive and manipulative older woman Mrs. Robinson and her innocent daughter Elaine. It was a hot ticket in New York in part because it featured the disrobing of Kathleen Turner as Mrs. R. Stars to be announced.

Jan. 20-Feb. 1 - The Full Monty is another screen-to-stage transfer, the jolly telling of six working-class lugs from Buffalo who decide that taking it all off is the best solution when a guy is laid off.

March 2-14 - A Night with Dame Edna, a k a Barry Humphreys, Australia's most effervescent female impersonator, makes her/his Cincinnati debut. The housewife, talk-show host, adviser to British royalty, investigative journalist and so much more, will riff on whatever topics she feels inclined.

E-mail jdemaline@enquirer.com

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