FROM Harvey Fierstein
Harvey Fierstein on NBC's 'Hairspray Live' In a corner of the NBC backlot in Universal City, a generic city street set has been transformed into 1960's Baltimore for the upcoming production of Hairspray Live! , which airs on December 7. Signs on the shops -- 'Divine Pet Food' and 'Greenblatt's Baltimore Crabs'-- are nods to the industry, the former to the iconic Divine who played Edna Turnblad in the 1988 John Waters' movie Hairspray, and of course Bob Greenblatt is the chairman of NBC Entertainment. Hairspray tells the story of Baltimore teenager Tracy Turnblad, played in NBC's production by newcomer Maddie Baillio. Tracy been told she's too fat to realize her dream of dancing on the Corny Collins TV show. Her quest to perform turns into a crusade against segregation. The cast of this lavish NBC production includes Ariana Grande, Martin Short, Kristin Chenoweth and Jennifer Hudson. The director is Tony-winner Kenny Leon. And playing Tracy's mother Edna is Harvey Fierstein, who won a Tony for performing the role on Broadway. Fierstein has also won Tonys for his play, Torch Song Trilogy, and for writing the book for the stage version of La Cage Aux Folles. He's also written the script for the live TV version of Hairspray. Before going to work on Hairspray, Fierstein also wrote the teleplay for NBC's live musical version of The Wiz. He's shares his observations about how these productions are evolving as the form has enjoyed a recent a renaissance. Plus, he takes us through the weighty costuming process of transforming into Edna. And while Hairspray may sing 'Welcome to the 60s' -- the song they were rehearsing the day we visited the set -- its themes of fighting bigotry still feel very relevant today. We talked to to Fierstein in his trailer, just a few days after this year's presidential election, which had left many in Hollywood very upset. He tells us how the cast and crew were feeling, and why they feel the anti-segregation story line of the show is now more important than ever.
'A Square Meal,' a kosher slaughter and Ukrainian Easter eggs Historian Andrew Coe explains how the Great Depression altered the 1930s’ food landscape, and contributor Sam Brasch witnesses a kosher slaughter. Artist Sofika Zielyk shows us how to decorate Ukrainian Easter eggs, Sandor Katz discusses his latest fermentation projects, and Dana Cree introduces her new book, “Hello, My Name is Ice Cream.” Plus: Laura Avery finds Swiss chard at the market, and Jonathan Gold dines at Kismet.
Lead poisoning hits LA County It’s been three years since the lead crisis in Flint, Michigan began. Flint residents are still drinking bottled water. In LA County, there are areas with even higher rates of lead contamination, and in places you wouldn’t expect, like wealthy San Marino.
States allowed to strip federal funds from abortion clinics President Trump signed the law allowing states to block federal funding to family planning clinics that offer abortions. Critics say this could potentially devastate the health care network that low-income women rely on for birth control and other reproductive care.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein faces an angry town hall crowd Senator Dianne Feinstein faced an angry crowd at her town hall in Los Angeles Thursday. The anger came from her would-be supporters -- people on the left. Also, a new bill wants to make it illegal for local police to cooperate with the feds who are targeting marijuana growers.