Wednesday night, NBC is laying it all on the line by airing a live production of “Hairspray!,” Marc Shaiman’s musical adaptation of John Waters’ 1988 film. Set in Baltimore, MD during the 1960s Civil Rights movement, “Hairspray Live!” has the opportunity to take more risks than even your typical live TV performance by drawing pressing parallels to the modern day.
So, in an effort to match their courage (with considerably less risk), IndieWire will be reviewing the three-hour special as it airs. The official synopsis, per NBC, is as follows: “In ‘Hairspray Live!,’ teenager Tracy Turnblad’s dream is to dance on ‘The Corny Collins Show,’ a local TV program. When against all odds Tracy wins a role on the show, she becomes a celebrity overnight.” Acclaimed live television director Alex Rudzinski (“Dancing with the Stars”) will join Tony-winning director Kenny Leon (“The Wiz Live!”). Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Oscar-winning ”Chicago,” ”The Wiz Live!” and the upcoming “A Few Good Men Live!”) serve as executive producers of “Hairspray Live!”
Follow along below throughout the airing for our assessment of the best and worst moments as they happen.