Hairspray, based on a 1988 film that became a Broadway musical in 2003, has returned to the screen as a musical with a nostalgic reminder that racial integration required pickets to prevail over bigots and that women could best rise from traditional roles by simply asserting their talents. Most of all, the plot reminds filmviewers of a time when courageous persons, Black and White, men and women, acted on a view of a future America with equal justice for all. The title refers to the sponsor of a daily Baltimore television teen dance program, the Corny Collins Show, whose producer, Velma Von Tussle (played by Michelle Pfeiffer), hopes that her daughter Amber (played by Brittany Snow) will be voted Miss Hairspray 1962 by the viewing audience rather than the popular short and corpulent Tracy Turnblad (played by Nikki Blonsky). But Von Tussle also cancels Negro Day, when Blacks alone are allowed on the Corny Collins Show, provoking emcee Motormouth Mabelle (played by Queen Latifah) to march on the TV station, joined by Tracy and her mom (played by John Travolta!). Directed by Adam Shankman, the production is alive with dancing, humor, music, song, and a well-deserved put-down for the bigots. MH

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