Baltimore Icon John Waters Joins Up With BSO

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — John Waters breathes new life into his production “Hairspray.”

Christie Ileto sat down with the Baltimore native and has more on the concert version of “Hairspray.”

Larger than life. That’s how writer and director John Waters describes his production of “Hairspray.”

“I want it to keep reinventing itself. The reason it keeps working is that each time they do a new version of it, it changes,” Waters said.

Broadcast on WJZ in the late 1950s and early 1960s, “The Buddy Deane Show” turned teens into local celebrities. Waters based his 1988 movie on the show. The movie later became a Broadway musical, a movie musical and now a concert.

“It’s coming back to Baltimore because it was born here. It’s about here and a certain time,” said Waters.

Waters highlights youth and race relations in Baltimore in the 1960s. He says “Hairspray: The Concert” is both entertainment and a history lesson for the younger audiences.

“The Buddy Deane show was not the only thing that went off air because they didn’t know how to integrate. The swim clubs were closing, the amusement clubs,” he said. “Baltimore is still a city that grapples with segregation.”

It’s been 25 years since the original movie made its debut and this week, Waters is teaming up with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to give it another life.

“It’s all new what I do in it because I come out and talk about where the ideas came from in Baltimore,” he said.

There’s also a full orchestra, vocalists, costuming and dancing. It’s a new version with a classic message.

“Don’t judge other people, mind your own business and feel proud of the things that make you different,” Waters said.

“Hairspray” is so popular, BSO added an additional showing this Saturday. Tickets are still available.

For more information, click here.

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