Film director John Waters shocked audiences with his controversial Pink Flamingos and Desperate Living, and established a unique cinematic voice in the process. He used that voice to its greatest advantage when he created Hairspray, the 1988 feel good flick that won the pencil mustached movie man his greatest success to date. The movie that launched Ricki Lakes career was made into a Broadway musical in 2002 and has played to packed houses ever since. The touring production of this acclaimed play is coming to the Jackie Gleason Theater to spread retro vibrations of acceptance all over town.
Since its debut, Hairspray has featured famous faces. Harvey Fierstein and Bruce Vilanch got dolled up in drag to play Edna Turnblad. Now another Hollywood Squares alum, Jim J. Bullock, is part of the show. The flamboyant actor first played the irrepressible Monroe in the Eighties sitcom Too Close for Comfort and then shared his refreshing views on the world in the short lived The Jim J. and Tammy Faye Show. Bullock will play Wilbur Turnblad, the patriarch of the Turnblad family, a role he initially balked at. I mean, Im gay! And Im playing a straight dad! he laughs. But its been a great opportunity for me to prove my range. Look at Brokeback Mountain. Straight guys play gay all the time.
Bullock is proud to be part of a play that spreads a message of love and acceptance. This is a perfect marriage for me, because its such a joy machine. Thats kind of what Im all about. Thats my gift from God, the joy that Ive been able to impart to others, he explains. See Jim J. in Hairspray tonight at 8:00. The show will run from February 21 to 26. Tickets range from $20 to $65. Call 305-358-5885, or visit www.gleasontheater.com.