Director John Waters writes in the liner notes to Hairspray that he used to hate musical comedy, but Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman’s score and lyrics turned him into a real show-tune queen. Hairspray should be enough to convert everyone: it’s the first musical to come out of Broadway in yonks that features genuinely catchy and memorable songs. The spirit of Waters’s 1988 film has not only been retained but amplified -“ the lyrics are frequently hilarious, parodying 1950s na?t?hile celebrating racial integration and the joys of being fat. In Good Morning Baltimore, Tracy Turnblad (Marissa Jaret Winokur) sings: There’s the flasher who lives next door/There’s the bum on his bar room stool/They wish me luck on my way to school. In The Legend Of Miss Baltimore Crabs, the evil Velma (Linda Hart) recalls her past teen success: Those poor runner-ups/Might still hold some grudges/They padded their cups/But I screwed the judges. And so on. The sound is reminiscent of Little Shop Of Horrors, but more knowing and definitely more camp. The presence of Harvey Fierstein as Edna Turnblad is a bonus, with his bitumen tones proving as vocally anachronistic as his massive dragged frame no doubt appears on stage. Surely, Divine would approve. Fierstein is even given a love song with hubby Wilbur (Dick Latessa), who declares, You’re fat and old, but baby/Boring you ain’t. Rodgers and Hammerstein this ain’t, but I had it on repeat all weekend.

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