Friday, June 15, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Nikki Blonsky

Artist:Nikki Blonsky f/John Travolta & The Dynamites
Song:Welcome To The 60s
Album:Hairspray: Soundtrack To The Motion Picture

One of the trends we have seen is to take a cult film and turn it into a Broadway musical. And if the show is successful, it inevitably is turned into a film. Hairspray started out as John Waters' 1988 valentine to his hometown of Baltimore starring Ricki Lake as teenager Tracy Turnblad. It was turned into a musical by screenwriter Leslie Dixon with songs by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. This kind of show is Shaiman's specialty and he currently works on the NBC TV series Smash. Marissa Janet Winokur starred as Tracy Turnblad. When the show became a big hit, New Line Cinema, who owned the film Hairspray, wanted to turn it into a film. They hired Craig Zadan and Neil Meron to produce. They had just finished the film Chicago. Choreographer Adam Shankman was hired to direct. His latest film is Rock Of Ages and some may recognize him as a judge on the FOX talent show So You Think You Can Dance. They kept a lot of the Broadway cast but John Travolta was hired to play Tracy's mother. He is in drag and wearing a fat suit. The role was played on Broadway by Harvey Feirstein. By this time, Winokur was in her 30s so they decided to hold auditions and find a younger actress. Nikki Blonsky was exactly who they were looking for. She was born Nov. 9, 1988 in Great Neck, Long Island, NY. She performed in high school musical theater and was working in an ice cream shop when she got the role in Hairspray. She was great in the film and the film was successful financially. I think fans of early 60s music will enjoy it. There were the usual complaints about changes from the Broadway show. According to Shankman, he wanted to give Zac Efron a bigger presence in the film as he was becoming a teen idol. So songs were added for him. New Line wanted to produce a sequel. But Shankman couldn't figure out how to do it so it's not happening. Nikki Blonsky has done some TV but she is now working as a cosmetologist in a Long Island hair salon. She says she hasn't given up on acting. Here's Nikki Blonsky with John Travolta and The Dynamites performing Welcome To The 60s from the 2007 film Hairspray.

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