Theatre Under The Stars’ Hairspray Comes to Stanley Park

The local rep company tackles “Prince of Puke” John Waters’s family-friendly musical.

At the beginning of his career, in the late 1960s, filmmaker John Waters seemingly tried to position himself as the Antichrist. His early work was not only an affront to respectable Christian values; it was in opposition to everything the peace-and-love generation stood for. (Infamously, his 1972 pièce de résistance, Pink Flamingos, ends with drag performer Divine eating dog feces.) Famously christened “the Prince of Puke” by his hometown newspaper, the Baltimore Sun, Waters eventually softened his world-view, and in 1988 he made Hairspray, a feel-good flick about an overweight teen in 1962 Baltimore who fights to end racial segregation on a TV dance program. Adapted for Broadway as a musical in 2002 (which was spun off in 2007 into a proper, expensive Hollywood feature starring Zac Efron and a cross-dressing John Travolta), it won eight Tony awards and made Waters, if only once, a paragon of family entertainment.The dirty old man—now, appropriately, aged 69—would likely smile to know Theatre Under the Stars, that city park institution of mainly amateur drama-makers, is presenting its own staging of Hairspray this summer for picnicking parents and their well-behaved broods. The al fresco frivolities open in preview tomorrow night (July 10); the show runs in repertory with a summer-long production of Oliver!, which premieres Saturday.HairsprayJuly 10-Aug. 21Oliver!July 11-Aug. 22Malkin Bowl in Stanley ParkTickets $30-$45 (previews $20-$35) from