Just Can’t Stop the Beat


Back in 1988 I talked some college friends at U of A into seeing John Water’s movie Hairspray with me.   I loved it.  They hated it.  I liked the subversive optimism of the film.  They didn’t get it.   Whatever you think of Divine, she certainly was in this film – kind of trashy, innocent and sweet. 


The little movie has had quite a life, becoming a Broadway musical in 2003 and now it will re-premier this weekend on the big screen as a movie musical.  People talk about how this film genre is dead, but I think as long as some people depend on movies as an escape pod, the movie musical will live.   


Anyway, we’re going to see Hairspray: The Musical this Sunday.  In a rare leap of faith that the movie’s re-adaptation(?) will be successful I bought the soundtrack (the only one left at Borders) earlier this week so I could sing along during the film.  I promise I’ll just mouth the words.


The soundtrack is really fun. I was glad to hear that the songs keep an inexplicable hope in the future in spite of current circumstances.  Tracy Turnblad seems to live as if the big changes have already happened.  At a time when I frequently can only think of the battles left to fight, it does me good to hear a more “You just can’t stop the beat” kind of message.    

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12 Comments on “Just Can’t Stop the Beat”

  1. T,
    I love how the title is in rainbow colors.

  2. John Travolta’s eyes look like Cabbage Patch Doll eyes. You know I’ve seen him in person when I was doing the Oprah show so I know that his eyes don’t normally look like they do in the above photo.

  3. Susan Says:

    I had a post on my blog about this same movie. Some friends of mine traveled to NYC and went to the Broadway production last week. Loved it! They were even spotted on the Al Roker show holding up their Arkansas sign and he had them do the weather with him. Ha ha..can’t wait to see this movie!

  4. Jennie Says:

    You’ll just mouth the words…Riiiiiight.

  5. Troy Says:

    Susan that is awesome!

  6. ssemester Says:

    I took a personal day on Friday to catch up on a lot of, um, personal things — one of which was to see “Hairspray.” Loved it. John Travolta in a fat suit: HAWT!

    Of course, I’m a sucker for a movie musical where the underdog prevails and spontaneous choreography is everywhere.

    It came as a great shock to me when, at age 23, I finally acknowledged that it was highly unlikely that my friends and I would ever break into song and dance.

  7. Troy Says:

    Oh Scott. You will be so sorry you said this when we’re in a meeting at church one day and I burst into spontaneous song about our fundraising hopes and dreams.

    P.S. Dave G. and I saw it this afternoon. It was VERY fun. If you can see it in stereo, take the trouble. I was actually not looking forward to Travolta as Edna, but I have to admit, he had me at “I’ll fix you some pork.”

  8. Susan Says:

    I spontaneously bust into song at home all the time…no idea where it comes from but all of a sudden I’ll sing instead of talk. I love it!

  9. Leann Says:

    There’s just something about John Watters that is simultaneously loveable and revolting. I saw an interview with him yesterday morning on the CBS morning show. Although he didn’t direct this version, it was he who inspired the whole phenomenon. I also saw that “Cry Baby” is coming to Broadway. I’ve never seen the movie though but my husband sounded pleased when they mentioned it.

    Oh, and I dream of everyone bursting into song and dance out of nowhere. Kind of like on Scrubs…haha.

  10. Troy Says:

    John Waters is creepy and creative. I can’t bring myself to watch Pink Flamingos.

    Karen and I talk about that episode of Scrubs all the time. She says that the same guys who wrote Avenue Q wrote the lyrics for the musical episode. Genius.

  11. Leann Says:

    Yeah, haven’t seen “Pink Flamingos” and don’t care to. The hubs told me what Divine does as the “most digusting human alive” or whatever they call the contest. Classy. Haha! I love when I see John Watters in a cameo on some show. I saw him on “My Name is Earl” as a funeral home director not too long ago. He also played the advice-giving bar tender in some show I watched, but now I can’t remember what it was…

    Yes, the Scrubs musical was genius. I loved every minute of it.

  12. Scott Says:

    Hey, check this out:

    Now, I’m not sure I’d go to a Hairspray Sing-Along and I don’t know which one the Kerasotes 16 is, but I imagine a lot of folks will have a lot of fun with this…

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