“Hairspray Live!” Wins


By Paola Tristan Arruda 09/25/17

“Hairspray Live!” was a hit at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards. The show ended up taking home 3 honors including an Emmy for Outstanding Production Design.


Joe Celli is the art director for the live musical. He told WEBN that his biggest challenge was creating the set in such a short amount of time. “When we started in the office, my view out from the window was a big blank concrete slab… and we sat there looked at our watch, our clock, and our calendar everyday saying, are you gonna be done?”

Despite the worries, the musical went on as planned and the set was built just in time. But the glamorous winning sets weren’t made from the latest and greatest materials possible. Celli said he tried staying “true to Baltimore” while creating the scenery, but most of the creative decisions were driven by a tight budget. “Some of those sets were actually standing sit-com sets that we were able to pull out of storage… as opposed to building something from scratch. We made use out of as much old material as possible.”

Celli is currently working on another live musical, “A Christmas Story”, set to air this December.