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Indonesian take on cult classic ‘Hairspray’ hits but also misses

Josa Lukman
Josa Lukman

The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta  /  Thu, January 16, 2020  /  04:07 pm
Indonesian take on cult classic ‘Hairspray’ hits but also misses

Drag up your life: TEMAN's rendition of Hairspray retains all elements of the original production, including the crossdressing role of Edna Turnblad, portrayed by Malaysian actor Peter Ong. (Ciputra Artpreneur/-)

New York’s theatrical heartland Broadway is a long way from Jakarta, but a recent rendition by Teater Musikal Nusantara (TEMAN) of cult favorite Hairspray did its damndest to bring the camp and magic of the Great White Way to the nation’s capital. Hairspray is one of those things you’ll either love or hate. It is a high camp, over-the-top commentary of race relations and beauty standards in mid-20th century America with lavish musical numbers, after all. Of course, originating from the mind of John Waters might have helped. Since its origins as Waters’ 1988 film, Hairspray has been adapted into several formats throughout the years, beginning with an award-winning Broadway adaptation in 2002 and a silver screen reboot in 2007 starring John Travolta in drag. Most recently, a live broadcast of the production was aired by NBC in 2016, f...