For Hairspray, John Waters inadvertently got a PG rating and created one of the most unexpected family movies of the late 80s.
In this wholesome story about a fat girl, Tracy Turnblad (played by fat girl Ricki Lake) you not only get an empowering underdog film, but also a sub-plot about segregation in the early 60s and how young radicals of that era sowed the seeds of change.
Highlights of Hairspray include star performances from Sonny Bono and Deborah Harry as the evil parents of spoiled teen queen Amber Von Tussle. R&B legend Ruth Brown has a knack for rhymes as DJ Motormouth Mabel. Plus Ric Ocasek and Pia Zadora cameo as beatniks who paint, smoke reefer, iron their hair and listen to Odetta.
But Hairspray will sadly always be remembered as the final and most famous role that Divine ever played for John Waters. Upon it's release, Hairspray received rave reviews, and Divine was heralded as the great character actor that he was.
To this day little children come up to me and tell me they love Hairspray. They rent it at birthday parties. They don't know Divine's a man! - John Waters
Inspired by the local Baltimore TV sensation The Buddy Deane Show, Waters packed the movie with fantastic 60s songs and dances. Without a doubt his most popular film - and for good reason. It was remade in 2007 starring John Travolta, Zec Efron and Michelle Pfeiffer and previously adapted into a tremendously successful Broadway musical, going on to win 8 Tony Awards in 2003 including Best Musical! The show is still playing to sell-out crowds, not only in New York, but worldwide. Who'd-a-thunk it?
Note: Tickets to John Waters talk and VIP Reception on June 24 will be available for purchase at this venue.