Strangely, I have seen the Broadway musical Hairspray three times. The first time, Michael McKean was Edna Turnblad, the mother of the chubby teased-out dancing teenager. The character has always been a drag character since Divine made the role famous in the original John Waters movie in 1988.
The last two times that I went to the musical, Paul C. Vogt played the role brilliantly. The best!
The thing is...the two never changed their voice to make it appear to be a woman's voice. That is part of the humor of Hairspray.
Now, I am well aware that Hairspray the Movie will be hitting theaters this month. I am a little bothered that John Travolta will be playing Edna Turnblad. It only gets worse when I see trailers and photos of Travolta in his dresses and fat suit. He has this goofy southern accent with a ridiculous high voice.
One of the big plot points in Hairspray is that it takes place in Baltimore. Baltimore is not in the south. Also, one of the scenes they always show is when Travolta/Edna says her dream was to own a string of coin operated laundromats. This is not Edna's dream in the musical. Only after Edna gets a fantastic makeover from the Hefty Hideaway that she shares her dream is to design plus-sized clothing.
I read on a entertainment blog that Travolta with all of his Scientology beliefs would not do the character in drag like drag queen fashion. He would dress as a woman but wouldn't play up the drag queen side of things. THAT IS WHY IT IS FUNNY! DRAG QUEENS ARE AWESOME IN EVERY WAY!
I am really hoping that Christopher Walken and Michelle Pfeiffer will save the movie for me. I could be wrong about Travolta, but probably not.
Is anyone wondering why I would go to this musical three times?