Waters at play

`Hairspray' is a smash, and `Cry-Baby' lands on Broadway this week. What's next for Baltimore's sultan of sleaze? Just imagine ...

April 20, 2008|By Mary Carole McCauley | Mary Carole McCauley,Sun Theater Critic

Hand that man a crown. John Waters, Baltimore's venerable Filth Elder, is extending his reign over Broadway. On Thursday, Waters will be represented by not one, but two Broadway musicals based on his movies.

Cry-Baby will make its official debut; the musical is a romp set in 1950s Baltimore about love, class and the Rosenbergs. Nearby, Hairspray's Tracy Turnblad has been dancing her way to racial equality for five years.

But, why stop at two shows? Waters has made 16 films. For instance, Hag In A Black Leather Jacket begs to be a ballet. Picture Waters' regular Mink Stole performing pirouettes.

Below are three remakes we'd like to see. The mind boggles. Really, it does.

FROM TRASH TO SMASH?

Pink Flamingos

Divine, under the nom de beehive of "Babs Johnson," battles to hold onto her title of the Filthiest Person Alive.

Remake potential: Waters swears that an opera troupe wanted to remake Pink Flamingos, but ran out of money. "In opera, it's not over until the fat lady sings," Waters says. "Divine does sing at the end - and she does a few other things, too."

Dream cast: The late Luciano Pavarotti as Divine/Babs, Rosie O'Donnell as Edie, and John Goodman as the Egg Man.

Show-stopping number: "Scrambled, Hard-boiled and Fried," a duet between Edie (Babs' snaggletoothed, senile mother) and the Egg Man during their honeymoon at a poultry farm.

Serial Mom

Suburban mother of two whacks folks who wear white before Labor Day or who don't recycle.

Remake potential: "At one time, people were interested in it as a TV show," Waters says. "Every other week, a Mom kills someone who's politically incorrect. Or, who put their elbows on the table."

Dream Cast: Patty Lupone as the Mom. Lupone bellows with the best of them, and we bet she wields a mean side of mutton.

Show-stopping number: In the movie, Mom bludgeons a neighbor to death while watching Annie on television and singing Tomorrow. Lupone could then cover Jay-Z's rap version of It's A Hard Knock Life.

Polyester

Housewife Francine Fishpaw has a cheating husband, a nymphomaniac daughter, a son with a foot fetish and an overly acute sense of smell.

Remake potential: Polyester on Ice. "They could pipe the odors right into the ice rink," Waters says. "There'd only be one show a day, so it could air out."

Dream Cast: On Dancing With the Stars, Kristi Yamaguchi has shown a surprising aptitude for kitsch. Imagine the former Olympic-skating champ as Francine, doing a triple axel in a fat suit.

Show-stopping number: Extra Cheese or Hold the Sausage. A dream ballet with a chorus of pizza deliverymen wearing skates and strategically-placed beefsteak tomatoes.

[John Waters and his longtime casting director, Pat Moran irreverently contributed to this article.]

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