Marty’s movie night! ‘Hairspray’ is nod to diversity

In addition to being a toe-tapping treatment of integration, “Hairspray” is also the story of two oversized divas, played by John Travolta (yes, that’s John Travolta) and Queen Latifah.
New Line Cinema / David James

This just in: Borough President Markowitz will celebrate Brooklyn’s diversity by inviting everyone in Brooklyn to see the movie “Hairspray” on Wednesday night in Prospect Park.

Late on Monday afternoon, the summer-loving Beep announced a screening of the beloved desegregation musical, calling it part of his “Summer 2008 Respect” initiative.

The event, his office said, “is designed to champion a message of respect and bring Brooklynites together in celebrating the borough’s diversity.”

Way to turn a toe-tapping musical into a Social Studies seminar, Marty!

That said, Markowitz is onto something. The movie, which stars Christopher Walken, Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac “Hearthrob” Efron, Queen Latifah, Jerry Stiller and John Travolta (in a decidely un-Scientological cross-dressing role), may be a frothy, taffeta-covered summertime treat, but its story of an overweight, dance-crazed teen’s struggle against hate and segregation in 1950s Baltimore is the story of America’s own struggle against racial injustice.

And best of all, you can dance to it!

But while there’ll be racial fireworks on screen, the only fireworks in Brooklyn will be over the skies of Prospect Park, thanks to a post-screening pyrotechnic display.

“Hairspray,” will be presented in the Long Meadow of Prospect Park on Wednesday, Aug. 20 at 8 pm. For info, visit or call (718) 802-3875.

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