Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman Talk NBC’s HAIRSPRAY LIVE!, BOMBSHELL & More!
by Caryn Robbins
Today, BWW participated in a media conference call with HAIRSPRAY composer/co-lyricist Marc Shaiman and co-lyricist Scott Wittman who answered questions and shared the latest developments on NBC’s highly anticipated broadcast of HAIRSPRAY LIVE!
The duo revealed that HAIRSPRAY LIVE! will feature some songs that were featured in the film, but not the Broadway show, and that not all of the songs from the Broadway show will be performed in the TV production. (Check out the full tracklist and details on the HAIRSPRAY LIVE! cast recording HERE!)
One song that will be in the NBC broadcast is “Baltimore Crabs,” performed by Kristin Chenoweth, who takes on the role of Velma. Shaiman explained that their goal was to “see what we could do with Baltimore Crabs to show off everything that Kristin has to show off. And that’s a lot!”
In other exciting news, fan fave “Mama I’m a Big Girl Now” will be performed in the December 7th broadcast. Said Wittman of the number, “It’s back. How can we not do it with Kristin and Andrea – it would be a sacrilege.”
Speaking on their upcoming projects, Shaiman and Wittman confirmed that plans to bring the fictional musical BOMBSHELL, from NBC’s SMASH, to Broadway is still in the works. “We’ve been talking to book writers,” said Wittman. Added Shaiman, “Yes we actually just today – just this morning got an email about a very exciting possible collaborator.” He added, “I really do think there’s a real life for Bombshell. Luckily Bob Greenblatt is still, you know, just incredibly supportive of it and of us.” Agreed Wittman, “Yes he’s a fairy Godfather I guess.”
As far as future projects in the works, the collaborators revealed that they were currently in London working on Disney’s highly-anticipated musical, MARY POPPINS RETURNS. Shared Wittman, “We spent a fabulous day with Lin Manuel and Emily Blunt singing. So that’s always a joy to be hearing.” Adds Shaiman, “Yes. Literally all day we sat in a room with them singing – singing our songs right into our faces. So Mary Poppins Returns is really taking over our lives completely the last few months, and for the next few months. And then we go directly from the final recording session for the prerecords for Mary Poppins Returns – we fly back to New York for first day rehearsals for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
He went on to tease, “And there’s new stuff also coming but, you know, it’s all that top secret kind of show biz stuff that we’re not allowed to talk about yet. Maybe Wiki Leaks can let you know!”
Based on the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, “HAIRSPRAY LIVE!” is a bold new television production coming to NBC on Wednesday, Dec. 7 (8/7c). In 1962 Baltimore, teenager Tracy Turnblad’s (newcomer Maddie Baillio) dreams come true when she earns a spot dancing on the “Corny Collins Show,” and uses her newfound fame to campaign for the integration of the all-white TV program. “Hairspray Live!” also stars Dove Cameron, Kristin Chenoweth, Garrett Clayton, Harvey Fierstein, Ariana Grande, Derek Hough, Jennifer Hudson, Ephraim Sykes and Shahadi Wright Joseph.
Click here for the latest news on “Hairspray Live!”
MARC SHAIMAN, along with Scott Wittman, wrote the music and lyrics for NBC’s holiday production of “Hairspray Live!” Shaiman has been writing music, lyrics, arrangements, orchestrations, very lengthy emails and even lengthier bios since entering show business at the age of 16 in 1976. Currently, he and Wittman are developing Disney’s film sequel to “Mary Poppins,” to be directed by Rob Marshall, for which they will contribute a new original song score. He and Wittman were executive producers of the successful film adaptation of their musical “Hairspray.” Shaiman has been nominated for two TONY AWARDS (winning one for co-writing the score to “Hairspray” with co-lyricist Scott Wittman), four GRAMMY AWARDS(winning one for the original cast recording of “Hairspray”), 11 Emmy Awards (winning one for his work on the Billy Crystal-hosted Academy Award) and if he hadn’t lost each of his five Oscar nominations (for “Sleepless in Seattle,” “Patch Adams,” “The First Wives Club,” “The American President” and “South Park-Bigger, Longer & Uncut”), he could boast of being an EGOT. Till then, he remains an EGT. Shaiman’s other film work includes “Beaches,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “City Slickers,” “The Addams Family,” “A Few Good Men,” “Sister Act” (1 & 2), “Hocus Pocus,” “The Bucket List” and “Parental Guidance.” Off-Broadway productions include “The High-Heeled Women,” “Livin’ Dolls” and “Andre De Shields’ Haarlem Nocturne,” while his Broadway concert credits are “Peter Allen-Up in One,” Bette Midler’s “Divine Madness,” Ellie Greenwich’s “Leader of the Pack” and “Patti LuPone on Broadway.” Besides “Hairspray,” his and Wittman’s other original Broadway musicals are the Tony-nominated “Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me,” the Tony-winning “Catch Me If You Can” and, soon to be on Broadway (and currently in its third year on London’s West End), the record-breaking Olivier Award-winning musical version of “Charlie & the Chocolate Factory.” After a tremendously successful concert for the Actors’ Fund, his and Wittman’s musical “Bombshell,” created as part of the television show “Smash,” is now being developed into a Broadway show. His other television ventures include “The Sweeney Sisters” on “Saturday Night Live,” countless award and talk show shows with Billy Crystal, Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Lane, Jennifer Hudson, Jack Black and Will Ferrell (among many others), Jenifer Lewis’ “Jackie’s Back,” the Emmy-winning “SNL 40th,” the aforementioned “Smash” and his proudest achievement for television – his collaboration with Bette Midler for her Emmy-winning appearance as the final guest on Johnny Carson’s penultimate “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” Other performers Shaiman has collaborated with in concert, cabaret, film and television include Kristen Chenoweth, Eric Clapton, Christine Ebersole, Kathy Griffin, Allison Janney, Jennifer Holiday, Diane Keaton, Steve Martin, John Mayer, Barbra Streisand, Rob Thomas, Queen Latifah, Raquel Welch, Robin Williams and many others. He has co-produced and/or ARRANGED recordings for (among others) Bette Midler, Harry Connick Jr. and Mariah Carey, including the Grammy-winning recordings “The Wind Beneath My Wings” and “From a Distance.” And he is quite fond of his online opus “Prop 8 – The Musical”. Among many other honors, he and Wittman were celebrated in 2014 by the New York Pops with a spectacular concert at Carnegie Hall.
SCOTT WITTMAN, along with Marc Shaiman, wrote the music and lyrics for NBC’s holiday production of “Hairspray Live!” Currently, he and Shaiman are developing Disney’s film sequel to “Mary Poppins,” to be directed by Rob Marshall, for which they will contribute a new original song score. Wittman co-wrote the lyrics for “Hairspray,” for which he received a Tony and Grammy Award, and the show won the Olivier Award for best new musical. He also served as an executive producer on the hit film starring John Travolta. Wittman and Shaiman teamed up again for Broadway’s “Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me,” which Wittman also directed, and “Catch Me If You Can,” which received a Tony nomination for best musical. Wittman co-wrote lyrics to “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” directed by Sam Mendes, which is breaking box office records at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London’s West End. The show will be opening on Broadway next spring at the Lunt-Fontanne. For their original songs on NBC’s musical drama “Smash,” Wittman and Shaiman were nominated for two Emmys, a Grammy and a Golden Globe Award. On “Smash,” they composed songs for Jennifer Hudson, Uma Thurman, Bernadette Peters and Liza Minnelli. Their original score for the Marilyn Monroe musical “Bombshell” was released on Sony Records and, after a tremendously successful concert for the Actors’ Fund, “Bombshell” is now being developed into a Broadway show. For Patti LuPone, Wittman has created and directed two Broadway shows, three recordings and four sold-out Carnegie Hall concerts. Together with Christine Ebersole, he co-created a string of critically lauded evenings at the Carlyle and across the country. Downtown at La Mama, Wittman conceived and directed “Jukebox Jackie,” starring Justin Vivian Bond, Cole Escola, Steel Burkhardt and Bridget Everett. At the Public Theatre, Joe’s Pub, he directed and co-wrote “Rock Bottom,” also starring Bridget Everett. Among many other honors, Wittman and Shaiman were celebrated in 2014 by the New York Pops with a spectacular concert at Carnegie Hall.
HAIRSPRAY LIVE! Soundtrack Set for Release Before NBC’s Broadcast; Full Tracklist!
On December 2, 2016 Masterworks Broadway/Epic Records will release “Hairspray LIVE! Original Soundtrack Of The NBC TelevisionEvent” the companion album to NBC’s broadcast of “Hairspray Live!” which will air on Wednesday December 7, 2016 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
The all-star cast features Harvey Fierstein, Jennifer Hudson, Ariana Grande, Kristin Chenoweth, Martin Short, Derek Hough, Dove Cameron, Garrett Clayton, Ephraim Sykes, Shahadi Wright Joseph, exciting newcomer Maddie Baillio, and Special Guest Stars Billy Eichner, Sean Hayes, Andrea Martin, and Rosie O’Donnell.
Available for pre-order now, “Hairspray LIVE! Original Soundtrack of the NBC TelevisionEvent” will include studio recordings for all of the musical numbers that are performed by the cast members in the live broadcast.
In “Hairspray Live!” 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 colorful 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.”
Emmy award-winning live television director Alex Rudzinski (“Dancing with the Stars”) will join Tony-winning director Kenny Leon (“The Wiz Live!”). Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Oscar-winning “Chicago,” “The Wiz Live!,” the upcoming “Bye Bye Birdie Live!” and the live television production of the Broadway play “A Few Good Men”) serve as executive producers of “Hairspray Live!” Harvey Fierstein will also provide a new teleplay and Tony winner Jerry Mitchell (“Kinky Boots,” “On Your Feet”) will serve as choreographer for the live production with music and lyrics by Tony winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (“Smash,” the upcoming feature “Mary Poppins Returns” and the Broadway-bound “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”). The soundtrack is licensed through the NBC Universal Television Consumer Products Group.
1. “Good Morning Baltimore”
2. “The Nicest Kids in Town”
3. “Mama, I’m a Big Girl Now”
4. “I Can Hear the Bells”
5. “(The Legend of) Miss Baltimore Crabs”
6. “Ladies’ Choice”
7. “It Takes Two”
8. “Velma’s Revenge”
9. “Welcome to the 60’s”
10.”Run and Tell That”
11. “Big, Blonde and Beautiful”
12. “(You’re) Timeless to Me”
13. “Good Morning Baltimore (Reprise)”
14. “Without Love”
15. “I Know Where I’ve Been”
16. “(It’s) Hairspray”
18. “You Can’t Stop the Beat”
19. “Come So Far (Got So Far to Go)”
SONY MUSIC MASTERWORKS comprises the imprints Sony Classical, Masterworks, OKeh, Portrait, Flying Buddha and Masterworks Broadway. Our artists range from icons to newly developing talents in classical, crossover and adult music, plus new and legendary jazz artists, as well as a vast catalog of musical theatre recordings including classic Broadway shows and original cast albums of today’s Broadway hits, most recently Kinky Boots, Once, If/Then and An American In Paris.
EPIC RECORDS has a storied history and over the years the label has thrived with such legendary and popular acts as Michael Jackson, Sade, Boston, Celine Dion, Dave Clark Five, Fiona Apple, Gloria Estefan, Pearl Jam, Shakira, Judas Priest, and Sly & THE FAMILY Stone. LA Reid was named Chairman & CEO of Epic Records in 2011, and today the label has a diverse roster of incomparable talent with artists like A Great Big World, Sara Bareilles, Mariah Carey, Fifth Harmony, Future, Jennifer Hudson, Jidenna, DJ Khaled, Kongos, Zara Larsson, Jennifer Lopez, French Montana, Outkast, Puff Daddy, Rick Ross, TrAvis Scott, Meghan Trainor, and Yo Gotti, to name a few.