Mark O'Donnell, a stage and comedy writer who won a Tony Award for his musical adaptation of the John Waters movie "Hairspray," has died at 58. He collapsed Monday in the lobby of his apartment building on New York's Upper West Side, according to the Associated Press.
O'Donnell co-wrote the book for "Hairspray" with Thomas Meehan. The musical proved to be an enormous popular success when it opened on Broadway in 2002, and it played for nearly seven years. It also became a hit touring show and was produced last summer at the Hollywood Bowl.
In 2007, O'Donnell and Meehan re-teamed for another John Waters adaptation, "Cry-Baby," which debuted at the La Jolla Playhouse before transferring to Broadway. The musical was a box-office dud but still managed to earn Tony nominations for O'Donnell and Meehan.
O'Donnell also teamed up with actor Bill Irwin on the play "Scapin," adapting the original play by Moliere. The play ran at Roundabout Theater Company in New York in 1997.
In addition to his stage work, O'Donnell was a comedy writer and worked for Hasty Pudding Theatricals at Harvard. He also published the novels "Getting Over Homer" and "Let Nothing You Dismay."
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