Hollywood crowd receives tuner with open arms

Those who say L.A. isn’t a theater town apparently did not attend Wednesday’s opening night of “Hairspray” at the Pantages Theater — guests partied well into the early morning hours.

“When you book L.A., you are a little nervous,” said producer Margo Lion at the high-energy afterparty, admitting relief that the show was received so well by the tough Hollywood crowd. Bruce Vilanch said his ad lib in which he took jabs at Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s frisky reputation was a chance to “break the fourth wall” — the actor-turned-solon was a mere bodybuilder in the 1960s when the musical is set.

Tony winner Marissa Jaret Winokur said she joined the touring cast for the L.A. and San Diego runs so she could perform in front of all her friends. “I went on Ticketmaster and bought tickets so all my friends and family could see the show. I wasn’t going to wait around for some executive to get me tickets for all of them,” she said.

Afterparty at the Henry Fonda Music Box Theater was laden with retro high-carb eats including macaroni and cheese, potato skins and s’mores. Daring guests sat down at the beauty salon to have their hair teased out and hairsprayed to the max.

Those on hand included tunesmiths Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman; Ricki Lake, the original Tracy in John Waters‘ pic, and co-star Mink Stole; and Jason Alexander, David Hyde Pierce and Jason Ritter.

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