BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – Kenny Leon isn’t sure where he will station himself the night that “Hairspray Live!” airs, well, live on NBC.
But locals who want to see how the Tony-winning Atlanta director re-shaped this all-star version of the beloved 1988 John Waters film (turned into a smash Broadway production in 2002 and another movie in 2007) can gather at the Actor’s Express at the King Plow Arts Center.
The viewing party is presented by True Colors Theatre Company, for which Leon serves as artistic director, and is one of five such gatherings being held around the country.
Bob Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, announced from the sparkly set of the fictional “The Corny Collins Show” that Atlanta, Baltimore, Houston, Salt Lake City and Philadelphia will host live viewing parties.
As well, “We’re going to cut to them for a few minutes inside the broadcast,” he said.
The Atlanta soiree begins at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 7 (the show airs at 8 p.m.). Music from the “Hairspray” era (the ‘60s) will be in full supply, as well as heavy hors d'oeuvres, popcorn treats and signature cocktails. Leon is also expected to send a personal greeting from the Los Angeles-area set.
Tickets are $50 and can be purchased at www.truecolorstheatre.org.
“Hairspray Live!” stars newcomer Maddie Baillio as Tracy Turnblad, along with Jennifer Hudson, Ariana Grande, Kristin Chenoweth, Harvey Firestein, Derek Hough, Martin Short, Andrea Martin and more.
We visited Leon and most of the cast on set last week and will have more to report closer to the show date.