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‘Hairspray’ combs for cast

NL hosts open call for lead actress

New Line Cinema is launching a nationwide open casting call for the role of Tracy Turnblad in “Hairspray,” which is expected to shoot in the summer in Toronto and Baltimore.

Pic will be released in summer 2007.

Open calls for Tracy, as well as Seaweed and Li’l Inez, are set for Feb. 4 in Atlanta, Feb. 11 in Gotham and Feb. 18 in Chicago.

As reported, studio’s in talks with John Travolta, Billy Crystal and Queen Latifah. Travolta’s been expected to play Edna Turnblad, the role Harvey Fierstein originated onstage, with Crystal as Wilbur Turnblad. Latifah, who worked with director Adam Shankman in “Bringing Down the House,” is expected to portray Motormouth Maybelle.

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are producing.

Marc Shaiman, who wrote the Broadway show’s music and was co-lyricist, is the music supervisor and will compose the score and produce its songs. Co-lyricist Scott Wittman and Shaiman are exec producers.

The play’s book writers, Thomas Meehan and Mark O’Donnell, adapted the screenplay, with Leslie Dixon doing a rewrite. New Line prexy Toby Emmerich is overseeing along with Mark Kaufman and Michael Disco.

Tracy was portrayed by Ricki Lake in the 1988 film and by Marissa Jaret Winokur in the musical onstage.

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