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London Hairspray to Open at Shaftesbury on October 30 logo
Jack O'Brien
(© Michael Portantiere)
The award-winning Broadway musical Hairspray will open at London's Shaftesbury Theatre on October 30, with previews starting on October 11. The production will be directed by Tony Award winner Jack O'Brien. No casting has been announced.

Hairspray has a book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, music by Marc Shaiman, and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman. The musical is based on the New Line Cinema film, written and directed by John Waters. The musical will be choreographed by Jerry Mitchell. The scenic design is by David Rockwell, the costumes are by William Ivey Long, the lighting is by Kenneth Posner and the sound is by Steve C. Kennedy. Orchestrations are by Harold Wheeler and arrangements are by Marc Shaiman; the musical direction is by Lon Hoyt.

At last night's Drama Desk Awards in New York, O'Brien told TheaterMania that he planned to use an all-British cast for the production and that he expected the show to be well-received in England despite the American subject matter. "You just can't stop the beat," he said, referring to one of the show's songs.

The American production of Hairspray will celebrate its fifth anniversary this summer at the Neil Simon Theatre. The show received eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical. A film version, produced by New Line Cinema, will open on July 20. Directed by Adam Shankman, the film stars John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Queen Latifah, Christopher Walken, and Nikki Blonsky.

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