Hairspray LIVE!

Music By: Marc Shaiman

Lyrics By: Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman

Distributed by: Masterworks Broadway

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                On December 7, 2016, NBC aired the fourth in its live musical series, Hairspray LIVE!  Based on the 1988 John Waters film and the subsequent Broadway musical versions, Hairspray LIVE! stars Maddie Baillio as Tracy Turnblad, a 1962 teenager whose big dream is to dance on the local television program, The Corny Collins Show.  But Tracy is not exactly the kind of girl who might find herself taking center stage at such an event.  In fact, she is often reminded of that fact by those considered more popular.  Against all odds, she somehow manages to win the role and become a celebrity overnight.  With celebrity comes responsibility and Tracyís next endeavor is a campaign to integrate the show.

                On December 2, 2016, Masterworks Broadway and Epic Records released Hairspray LIVE! Original Soundtrack of the NBC Television Event.  The soundtrack features an all-star cast, including Harvey Fierstein, Jennifer Hudson, Kristin Chenoweth, Martin Short, Derek Hough, Ariana Grande and more.  The album features nineteen songs and a booklet containing pictures and lyrics for each and every song on the album.

                Believe it or not, I have never seen Hairspray before.  Iíve heard about it, yes, but Iíve never taken the time to actually see it.  After listening to the Hairspray LIVE! Soundtrack, all I can say it that I am a tremendous idiot!  This musical is a whole lot of fun.  Maddie Baillio has a strong voice and a refreshing one for a newcomer.  And to have Jennifer Hudson and Kristin Chenoweth on the same album Ė whoa!  The only weak link in the whole thing is Harvey Fierstein as Tracyís mom.  Granted, Fierstein was the original Edna Turnblad in the Broadway musical version of Hairspray, but his voice is just not the same anymore and he certainly canít compete with the likes of Baillio, Hudson, Chenoweth, Grande and Hough.

                Any fan of the musical will be happy to get their hands on this soundtrack.  As I listened to it Ė over and over, might I add, I realized how much I wanted to see it.  If the songs are so much fun, I can just imagine what it must be like to experience the dance numbers that go along with them.  I did get to see You Can't Stop the Beat performed while watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and was impressed with the performance.  The Hairspray LIVE! Original Soundtrack of the NBC Television Event and what little I saw while watching the parade has inspired me to see the NBC show. 

                But even if I never catch the show, I will still love listening to the soundtrack and singing along with  Good Morning Baltimore, Mama, I'm A Big Girl Now, I Can Hear the Bells and You Canít Stop the Beat, and laughing at The Legend of Miss Baltimore Crabs and Cooties.  The Hairspray LIVE! Soundtrack is a great deal of fun for any fan of musicals and the price is outstanding - $10.00US no matter what format!  Definitely worth taking a listen to.

For feedback, visit our message board or e-mail the author at