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First ‘Hairspray,’ Now ‘Diner’ Will Bring Baltimore To Broadway

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Ron Matz 370x278 Ron Matz
Ron Matz is an Emmy award-winning reporter who joined the Eyewitness...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Can another Baltimore movie make it big on Broadway? We’re about to find out.

Ron Matz has the latest on Barry Levinson’s plan to return to the “Diner.”

“Diner” the movie will soon be a Broadway musical. Director Barry Levinson marked the movie’s 30th anniversary in Baltimore telling a large crowd the stage version is well on its way.

“It’s really coming along and it’s very indicative of what the film is, so it’s not like re-inventing and turning it into something other than what ‘Diner’ really is. It’s a comedic dramatic musical,” Levinson said.

Baltimore hit Broadway in a big way nine years ago when “Hairspray” became a smash. Can “Diner” do the same? The owner of the Hollywood Diner says yes.

“Back in the ’80s when the movie came out, it was a good movie then and I think it’s a good movie now. I think it’s going to work. Barry Levinson is behind it so I think it will work,” said Cheryl Townsend, of Hollywood Diner.

Levinson sees a bigger role for women in the musical.

“In terms of the musical I think we’ll be able to open up the sub-text in terms of the females. They can sing and suddenly add another layer to the piece. I think it explains the reason for bringing it to Broadway as a musical. It adds another dimension,” Levinson said.

Actress Ellen Barkin, the only female lead, says “Diner” holds a special place.

“For me it’s the most important groundbreaking iconic piece of work I’ve ever been a part of. Of course, it’s ‘Diner.’ It changed movies. It changed television. It changed the way people view comedy,” Barkin said.

Singer Sheryl Crow has written 16 songs for the musical. And if all goes as planned, “Diner” will open on Broadway in the fall of next year.

There’s no word on casting yet. Before it arrives on Broadway, “Diner” the musical will likely play over the summer at a location still to be announced.

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