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Two Tuesdays: Hairspray (1988)

A 'pleasantly plump' teenager teaches 1962 Baltimore a thing or two about integration after landing a spot on a local TV dance show.
(PG - 92 min.)


Tuesday, June 18, 2024

7:00 PM

Discover cinematic connections with Two Tuesdays—a curated film series pairing related movies on the last two Tuesdays of the month. This series is Free for Members.
June 18: Hairspray (1988)
June 25: Cry-Baby (1990)

In 1960s Baltimore, dance-loving teen Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky) auditions for a spot on "The Corny Collins Show" and wins. She becomes an overnight celebrity, a trendsetter in dance, fun and fashion. Perhaps her new status as a teen sensation is enough to topple Corny's reigning dance queen and bring racial integration to the show. [RT]

Starring: Ricki Lake, Divine, Jerry Stiller, Sonny Bono, Ruth Brown, Vitamin C, Debbie Harry
Director: John Waters
Genre(s): Comedy, Drama, Family

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"Thoroughly deserving of its cult status."

— Kim Newman, Empire Magazine

"The defining moment in the auteur's career-long dedication to lionizing Baltimore's misfit population."

— Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness

"The movie is a bubble-headed series of teenage crises and crushes, alternating with historically accurate choreography of such forgotten dances as the Madison and the Roach."

— Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"While it's corny by design, Hairspray also aims to get at something truthful, about the various kinds of prejudice [...] and how youthful optimism and music made a difference [...]."

— Noel Murray, The Dissolve

"Not only Waters's best movie, but a crossover gesture that expands his appeal without compromising his vision one iota; Ricki Lake as the hefty young heroine is especially delightful."

— Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

"Ricki Lake’s unselfconscious performance as the all-dancing, all-bouffant Tracy Turnblad is a joy, Debbie Harry makes a fabulous bigot, while Waters seems to delight in the many toe-tapping dance routines as well as his own deliciously arch dialogue."

— Kevin Maher, Times (UK)