Tuesday, March 07, 2006


From Chasing Skirts to Wearing One

After leaving TV's Welcome Back Kotter, where he portrayed the lead Sweathog/teen heartthrob, Vinny Barbarino, actor John Travolta burst onto the big screen as the (Oscar nominated) Brooklyn disco king/heartthrob Tony Manero in the seminal 1970s musical drama Saturday Night Fever, and as gang leader/hearthrob Danny Zuko in the most successful movie musical of all time, Grease. Now comes word that Travolta will once again return to his big screen musical roots, but rather than chasing skirts, he'll be wearing one. Travolta has reportedly agreed to play Edna Turnblad, the mother in Hairspray -- a role originated in the John Waters film by 300+ pound transvestite actor Divine, and then played by openly gay actor Harvey Fierstein in the Broadway musical adaptation. So, this is, to say the least, an interesting choice by Travolta. Hairspray is the latest in a line of projects that have gone from a non-musical movie, to a Broadway musical, and then to movie musical (see Movies on My Mind: "First Little Shop of Horrors, Then The Producers, Now Hairspray," 10/03/05). While the post-Chicago jury is still out on movie musicals, Oscar has had a long history of noticing men in dresses: think, Jack Lemmon in Some Like it Hot, La Cage Aux Folles, John Lithgow in The World According to Garp, Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie, and Jaye Davidson in The Crying Game. (Hell, even Tom Hanks used to wear a dress!) Bold career move for Travolta -- but what would "Vinny," "Tony," and "Danny" think?

Can you inform us about Paul Thomas Anderson's new film supposedly to come out this year?? Thanks.
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