GAYBO: Hairspray Is SO Gay; Tammy Faye, Less So

BY TOMMY ZANE GAYDAR EDITOR The Broadway musical Hairspray slammed theatres last weekend with an all-star cast including Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Queen Latifah and a fat-suited, dragged-up John Travolta in the Divine role of Edna Turnblad. I managed to catch the film with two girlfriends — both born and raised in Baltimore — last Tuesday night. Now, these babes are huge fans of the original John Waters 1988 cult fav, so I listened to their review with bated breath. I’m happy to report that we absolutely loved it!

Newcomer Nikki Blonsky, as fat girl-turned-TV dance show star Tracy Turnblad, brought a lot of talent andhairspray_half_face.jpg energy to the screen. We all agreed that the kids, including Elijah Kelley, Taylor Park and High School Musical star Zac Efron, brought just the right amount of truth to the 1962 race relations storyline and propelled the film far beyond its obvious Grease comparisons. The film was chock full of amazing dance sequences, including the opening scene and song, “Good Morning Baltimore” and total over-the-top finale, “You Can’t Stop The Beat.”

Even industry veteran Michelle Pfeiffer dazzled the screen as ultra bitch and racist sore loser, Velma Von Tussle. Her fab rendition of “(The Legend of) Miss Baltimore Crabs” commands your attention, and the 50-ish actress still sets the screen a-sizzle, even among the much younger performers. My Baltimore girlfriends thought John Travolta was utterly hysterical as overweight Edna Turnblad, but I thought he was awkward and miscast. Travolta’s Edna was dowdy and lacked self-esteem, something Divine never had short supply of in the original film. There are a couple of slow, self-indulgent songs, including a way-too-long Walken/Travolta duet and a Pfeiffer/Walken seduction scene that seems a bit out of place, but as soon as Nikki Blonsky returns to the screen (with strong back-up from Queen Latifah and Zac Efron), the film bounces along again. The utterly adorable James Marsden, as TV show host Corny Collins, is stunning in a gorgeous ’60s-era suit, as are all the costumes and set pieces in this strong production by Chicago’s Oscar-winning producer, Craig Zadan. The film’s openly gay director, Adam Shankman, sets the screen on fire with this flaming romp. This one is going to surprise many who wrote it off as a mediocre hit. Hairspray spotlights ’60s-era race relations and propels the movie musical into the 21st Century. Gaybo gives it ****/5 snaps up!

On the death of Tammy Faye Bakker, I think Dumpsta’ Player and Philly drag star Nueva Gabor said it best: “Goodbye, sweet Princess, we shall always hold you in our deepest regard. Tammy, you will be remembered not only for your ministry, but your legacy and your dated taste in clothing. You will be admired, mostly, for your undying love of a cruel, senseless world. A world that shunned overly obsessive eyelashes, those that made you feel pretty! You are the only beauty that has ever loved, lost and found salvation in an eyebrow pencil! Your death will shake the very foundation of Cover Girl!”

Tammy Faye speaks up on Larry King Live about “The Gay People”:

Bound for jail paparazzi hog/druggie Lindsay Lohan + 64-year-old birthday boy Mick Jagger, and recently deceased televangelist-turned-female drag queen Tammy Faye Bakker.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *