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The dish on 'Hairspray Live': John Waters, Kenny Leon, Baltimore upstart Unissa Cruse-Ferguson

The dish on 'Hairspray Live': John Waters, Kenny Leon, Baltimore upstart Unissa Cruse-Ferguson

Asked the inevitable question about how things were going on the set of "Hairspray Live," which NBC will air Wednesday night, director Kenny Leon just laughed. And laughed. Then laughed some more.

"It's very scary," Leon said. "But it's going very well."

The mix of nerves and confidence is understandable.

"Hairspray," the brilliant, buoyant musical based on the John Waters film about a popular Baltimore TV dance show and a full-sized teen's efforts to integrate it, will be performed live. It's a risky, viewer-catnip concept that NBC pioneered in the mid-1950s with "Peter Pan" and "Cinderella."

The...

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