August 08, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

Their eight Tony awards are still warm, but ”Hairspray” bigwigs are already teasing their next project: ”Cry-Baby.” Producers Adam Epstein, Allan S. Gordon, and Elan V. McAllister will join big-haired Hollywood honcho Brian Grazer in bringing the 1990 John Waters pic to Broadway. As with ”Hairspray,” ”John will be my creative conscience,” says Epstein. A ’50s-set flick with a rock & roll heart, ”Cry-Baby” features such colorful creations as dreamy delinquent Wade Walker (Johnny Depp) and hideous hottie Hatchet-Face. ”I write the kind of characters that are begging to sing,” says Waters. ”No matter how perverted, how insane, they’re all joyous.”

Epstein envisions a two-to-four-year gestation period for his ”Baby”; he still needs a director, choreographer, and composer-lyricist. Despite speculation, it appears that ”Hairspray” writers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman are not ”Cry-Baby”-bound. ”Scott and I wish the best for ‘Cry-Baby’,” says Shaiman, ”but we’re waiting for ‘Pink Flamingos,’ ‘Female Trouble,’ or ‘Desperate Living.’ Singing a–holes and lesbians cutting off penile implants — that screams ‘musical’ to us.”

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