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on the aisle
with Harry Haun

Fierstein Trips the Fat Fantastic
West 52nd's legendary Roseland, which was environmentally overhauled into a high school cafeteria the night Grease resurfaced on Broadway, returned essentially to that same ignominious scene for the big Hairspray do. Giddy, glittery first-nighters had a "tough" commute-across the street on a hot-pink velvet carpet. Most of them floated. It's great to begin a season with a critical yardstick: Hairspray is Broadway's beehive, the show to top for Tonys. To name categories: Best Score (Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman), Best Book (Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan), Best Actor (Harvey Fierstein), Best Actress (Marissa Jaret Winokur, a true American Beauty from the film of the same name), Best Featured Actor (Dick Latessa), Best Featured Actress (Linda Hart), Best Direction (Jack O'Brien), Best Choreography (Jerry Mitchell) and on down the roll call-oh, did I say  Best Musical? To the rock 'n' roll raunch of Grease, this Hairspray adds just a dollop of social commentary- blacks, fats and gays unite to shatter the white-bread barriers televised teen hops in 1962 Baltimore-and all this is shaked, rattled and rolled into an infectious, affectionate charmer. Fierstein, dragged out to Divine proportions, makes his musical-comedy debut the hard way, negotiating it in a 35-pound fat suit on stiletto stilts, looking to all the world like Hope Emerson in heat. It's a show with such talent to spare that Jackie Hoffman-one of the funniest people on this planet-is brought in to toss of an assortment of abrasive caricatures. Joel Vig, who, when he's not covering for Fierstein, is a parade of puffed-up prigs and proletarians, and Laura Bell Bundy, who's Little Miss Perfect to Winokur's overweight underachiever, are making Broadway bows together in Hairspray- almost a decade after they made their Off-Broadway debuts together in Ruthless! WARNING: Hairspray may be too funny for some. Frank Decaro of "The Daily Show" got this cautionary word from a friend: "I know you: wear Depends!"

[[Images]]
[[Caption]] Left: Hairspray's Harvey Fierstein and Marissa Jaret Winokur take a bow on opening night. Other first-night Hairspray revelers included (center, l.-r.) Donna McKechnie with the musical's hilarious Jackie Hoffman and (left) audience members Bette Midler and Nathan Lane.

4
Photos by Aubrey Reuben

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1902 
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Transcription Notes:
Unsure formatting for images Added on to someone's unfinished transcription. pls edit as needed.TY.

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