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date: 24 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Marketability is the focus of this chapter on The Producers and Hairspray, movies that were based on stage musicals that were originally based on low-budget, largely nonmusical movies. The chapter compares the two movie adaptations, noting that Susan Stroman restaged her original work for film, and many of the original creative team (including costume designer William Ivey Long) reprised their Broadway visual contributions for film, while the producers of Hairspray selected Hollywood professionals instead of the original Broadway creative team to supervise the making of the film. In another contrast, the 2005 film of The Producers is 134 minutes long to Hairspray’s 116, and The Producers used its Broadway stars rather than using the latest Hollywood names; Hairspray chose movie stars. With these contrasting strategies, and their relationship to the audience demographics for cinema today, it is unsurprising that Hairspray was a hit on the screen and that The Producers was a flop.

Keywords: The Producers, Hairspray, audience demographics, Susan Stroman, Marc Shaiman

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