Does Broadway have deja vu? A new musical opens based on a cult flick from an eccentric comic genius. Advance sales break $10 million (more than the film’s original box office). Celebs flock nightly; ticket lines grow exponentially. It’s not The Producers, last year’s screen-to-stage smash — but Hairspray, based on John Waters’ 1988 comedy with Ricki Lake. The tuners share more than a librettist (Thomas Meehan) and a costumer (William Ivey Long). Marissa Jaret Winokur’s zaftig Tracy (pictured) sings a showstopper in jail — as Nathan Lane’s portly Max did in The Producers. And just as Producers creator Mel Brooks has a vocal cameo in his show, Waters is an offstage voice in Hairspray. ”It’s part of my acting career,” says Waters, a consultant to the musical who’s popped up in several of his films. (”In Pecker, my voice was the obscene phone call to Christina Ricci,” he notes.) But Waters isn’t bothered by comparisons to the 12-time Tony winner. ”At least they’re not saying it’s the next Carrie.”

Hairspray (Stage - 2002)
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