Harvey Fierstein Celebrates 15 Years of Broadway's HAIRSPRAY
On August 15, 2002, "Hairspray" opened on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theatre, winning eight 2003 TONY AWARDS for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Actor (Harvey Fierstein), Best Actress (Marissa Jaret Winokur), Best Featured Actor (Dick Latessa), Best Costume Design and Best Direction of a Musical. The show was further nominated for Best Featured Actor (Corey Reynolds), Best Scenic Design, Best Lighting Design, Best Choreography and Best Orchestration. "Hairspray" also garnered 10 Drama Desk Awards and went on to play 31 previews and 2642 performances.
Based on the John Waters classic 1988 film starring Ricki Lake, the Broadway musical went on to inspire the 2007 film starring John Travolta, and last year's "Hairspray Live!" on NBC, with Harvey Fierstein reprising his Tony-winning role. The variety special earned seven 2017 Emmy Award nominations, for Outstanding Special Class Program, Lighting Design, Makeup, Hair, Costumes, Technical Direction and Production Design. The final voting round closes Monday, Aug. 28.
In a statement this morning reflecting on the anniversary, Fierstein said, "'Hairspray' has brought almost BOUNDLESS joy into my life. Edna is an incredible character. Being able to take that journey from frightened housewife to triumphant woman every performance was a genuine gift. I played her for more than a thousand performances on Broadway and then reprised her in the Las Vegas company, the Hollywood Bowl concert, and finally, for NBC on 'Hairspray Live!' I will always treasure my 'Hairspray' memories and every artist with whom I took that journey."
Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC