Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Hairspray's Stunt Casting Sticks

Hairspray's Stunt Casting Sticks

Tonight marks the official Broadway debut for former 'N' Sync boy bandmember Lance Bass. Talk about an auspicious time for his Great White Way arrival.

As if the film hadn't already returned boffo business to the five-year-old tuner, the stunt casting certainly doesn't hurt.

Ever since the silver screen version of Hairspray hit movie theatres last month, the Broadway show has been playing to SRO crowds. Just last week, the show earned $901,232 -- enough to make it the eighth top grossing Rialto offering of the week. But its sheer capacity of 100.9% eclipsed every other show, including that of the almighty Jersey Boys at 100.8%.

As I said above, the ongoing stunt casting has only added to the interest in the Broadway offering. Where else can pop music fans go see not one, not two, not three, but four pop music artists, including sixties icon Darlene Love (Motormouth Maybelle), nineties soul sensation Tevin Campbell (Seaweed), former O-Town star Ashley Parker Angel (Link), and now Bass?

Plus, there's also the Beav, er, Jerry Mathers as the Wilbur and Grease reality show finalist Ashley Spencer (Amber), who gets the last laugh on the "You're The One That I Want" winners by reaching the Great White Way first.

Finally, it certainly doesn't hurt that the breathtaking Isabel Keating, who scored with her spot-channeling of Judy Garland in The Boy From Oz four years ago, is now cast as Velma.

All of this renewed success portends great things for the upcoming London incarnation that is finally set to take its first bow at London’s Shaftesbury Theatre on October 11, as well as the South African version set to grace the stage of the Gold Reef City Casino's Lyric Theatre in Johannesburg -- perfect for a place where Apartheid came crashing down a mere 14 years ago.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for Hairspray Broadway tickets.
Click here for Hairspray Johannesburg tickets.
Click here for Hairspray London tickets.
Related Stories:
Stuck On Hairspray (July 31, 2007)
Go East, Young Musical, Go East (July 26, 2007)
Touring Hairspray Caught In Sticky Net (April 26, 2007)
Hairspray To Brush With West End Style (March 9, 2007)
Fall At Broadway's Box Office (September 12, 2006)

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At 14 August, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darlene love was AMAZING as the gym teacher in the Broadway musical Carrie.

At 14 August, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

You may very well be about the only person who saw this legendarily bad show.

At 15 August, 2007, Blogger Dan B (no, not Bennett, think harder) said...

Speaking of Judy Garland, there is an exciting, and wildly popular new group on Yahoo called The Judy Garland Experience. The group features lively discussions, great photo's, and the most amazing music files anywhere. This week they are featuring a retrospective of Judy's performances at the London Palladium 1951-1969 with all never before released performances. They also have all of Judy's tracks from The Hollywood Palace as well as many other rarities. And if that's not enough they are even featuring a rare solo concert that Liza Minnelli performed at The Palladium a few years back.
The membership of the group includes Garland family members, other celebrities, author's, people who have made films about Judy Garland, and fans from all levels and backgrounds. The only thing missing is you!
Come check it out, you may never want to leave!

At 15 August, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Wow Dan! That's a real stretch, but I'll let your comments stand since everybody loves Judy Garland anyway!

At 16 August, 2007, Anonymous Esther said...

I really love this show and I'm so glad it's doing well. And I haven't even seen it yet on Broadway. When I'm picking music for my drive to and from work, more often than not, the original Broadway cast recording of Hairspray is what I choose. (If I'm not listening to Wicked, of course!)

I don't even think Hairspray needs stunt casting. Look at Mamma Mia!, which also had a capacity of more than 100 percent last week and does it without any "stars" that would be recognizable to the general public. The afternoon I saw it, it played to a pretty full and enthusiastic house.

While I loved Mamma Mia!, I just think that Hairspray is so head and shoulders above it in terms of the depth of emotion in the music and the story. It really is terrific and I hope it has a long and prosperous life in London and Johannesburg.

At 16 August, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Well, Esther, apparently you can't stop the beat!


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