The Shows Must Go On programme continues this week, with a free streaming production of Hairspray going live from Friday – details here.

What started as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Shows Must Go On programme has now been taken on by Universal. It all started when lockdown around the UK was first announced (with the exception of castles in Durham, obviously), when Lloyd Webber announced that full versions of his musicals and concerts were set to stream for free on YouTube.

Over the course of eight weeks, that’s what happened too, but following the release of Cats a week or two back, it looked like things were coming to an end. Not so: it’s just it’s a broader mix of musicals going forward.

This week’s, then, is a production of the musical Hairspray that will be made available entirely free of charge on YouTube for 48 hours. It’s the Hairspray Live! TV special that we’re getting, which brought together a cast that included Maddie Baillio, Billy Eichner,  Jennifer Hudson, Martin Short, Dove Cameron, Harvey Fierstein and Ariana Grande. Here’s a picture from the show…

The full synopsis reads…

Based on the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, “Hairspray Live!” takes place in 1962 Baltimore. Plump teenager Tracy Turnblad’s dream is to dance on “The Corny Collins Show,” a local TV program. When against all odds Tracy wins a role on the show, she becomes a celebrity overnight and meets a colourful array of characters, including the resident dreamboat, Link; the ambitious mean girl, Amber; an African-American boy she meets in detention, Seaweed; and his mother, Motormouth Maybelle, the owner of a local record store. Tracy’s mother is the indomitable Edna, and she eventually encourages Tracy on her campaign to integrate the all-white “Corny Collins Show.”

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (executive producers of all of NBC’s live musicals and the 2017 holiday musical “Bye Bye Birdie Live!”) serve as executive producers of “Hairspray Live!” Live television director Alex Rudzinski will join director Kenny Leon (“The Wiz Live!”) for “Hairspray Live!” Harvey Fierstein will provide a new teleplay and Jerry Mitchell (“Kinky Boots,” “On Your Feet”) will serve as choreographer for the live production with music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (“Smash” and Broadway’s upcoming “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”).

The show will appears on The Shows Must Go On YouTube channel from 7pm Friday, for 48 hours. You can find it here.

Image:  Brian Bowen Smith/NBC | 2016 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

 

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