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'Hairspray' Expected to Close in January


The Broadway musical Hairspray will close Jan. 18, the New York Times reported Friday. The musical adaptation of the John Waters comedy opened in August 2002, and was itself adapted into a hit movie musical last year. The long-running production won eight Tony Awards, including best musical.

Harvey Fierstein will reprise his Tony-winning role as Edna Turnblad Nov. 11, replacing George Wendt (Cheers).

A spokesman reportedly said that the scheduled closing is due to the economic downturn. Recently, the show has played to only 60 percent capacity.

From Crain's "Hairspray won't hold on Broadway":

The announcement makes Hairspray the fourth Broadway show to post a closing notice in the last two weeks...

Last week, Legally Blonde announced it would shutdown on Oct. 19 because of fear of a prolonged recession. Xanadu’s last performance was on Sept. 28 and [title of show] is set to close on Oct. 12.

Maybe Fierstein's return to cross-dressing will at least boost ticket sales until the show ends its run.

-- Daniel Lehman

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