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Harvey Fierstein on ‘Hairspray’s’ Inclusive Message: ‘The War Is to Change Hearts’

TCA 2016: “Nothing does that like song,” writer and actor says

Last Updated: August 2, 2016 @ 6:16 PM

What the world needs now is “Hairspray Live,” sweet “Hairspray Live.”

That was actor and writer Harvey Fierstein‘s message to media members Tuesday at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour.

 “You don’t update history. You tell history,” he said, when asked about the theme of integration. “You be true to it or as true to it as you can.

“You can change laws. The war is to change hearts,” he added during the NBC live musical’s Beverly Hilton-based panel. “And nothing does that like song does.”

During the press event, producers said that two songs from the 2007 movie adaptation starring John Travolta, Nikki Blonsky and Queen Latifah will make the TV version. Obviously, the original ones from the stage play will be also be included.

Additionally, those running the show revealed that part of “Hairspray Live” will take place on a backlot, much like “Grease: Live.” Only, the outdoor Universal area is a much larger space than the Warner Bros. one that Fox used, live TV director Alex Rudzinski said.

Not bragging or nothin’.

Later during their Tuesday afternoon stage time, producers revealed that Sean Hayes and Rosie O’Donnell are set to join the cast, which is already loaded with the likes of Ariana Grande, Derek Hough, Jennifer Hudson, Kristin Chenoweth, Martin Short and others. Newcomer Maddie Baillio (pictured above) will play the lead role of Tracy Turnblad.