It was just last month that Dick Clark died and became America’s eternal teenager. Without American Bandstand, Clark's propeller to stardom, it’s unlikely that John Waters could have cooked up the fictional, '60s era television program that’s the setting for his cult classic, Hairspray, the musical adaptation of which plays at Mesa Arts Center through Sunday, June 3.
Waters grew up watching The Buddy Deane Show, Baltimore’s verison of Bandstand in which teens danced to the latest rock-n-roll hits. The weirdo filmmaker’s take-off of it, The Corny Collins Show, is the center of his 1988 campy comedy that follows heroine Tracy Turnblad’s journey from high school outcast to local star.. The musical version is a big, quirky song and dance show, and the only thing bigger than the teen’s heart is her perfectly sculpted bouffant.