The University of Iowa University of Iowa

Preview: John Waters


John Waters
By Emily Kane

He’s the face that’s been haunting you for weeks all over Iowa City. His image is plastered across every street corner in town. The man behind the face is none other than John Waters, and if you are asking yourself: Who is this man? Why should I care? Well this is why…

Before many of you were even born, John Waters was becoming a legend in Baltimore and beyond. He quickly became famous for his risqué and classic cult films of the 70s and 80s, mastering the comedic effect of being “so bad they’re good”. They were influenced by provocative and bawdy topics such as true crime, and sexual deviancy and had unconventional content, pushing the boundaries of movie censorship. He featured a cannon of actors ranging from prominent drag queens and porn stars to his childhood best friends and convicted criminals. Some of his most notable cult classics include Pink Flamingos, Serial Mom, Polyester and Pecker.

In 1988 mainstream culture got a taste of the idiosyncratic, avant-garde, and bizarre world of John Waters when his work Hairspray was introduced. Since then, it has became a flaming success, accomplishing a long run and eight Tony Awards on Broadway, as well as being readapted for film in 2007, becoming renowned worldwide. His film Cry-Baby also flourished and is known as one of the films that helped launch Johnny Depp’s career. Waters has made many cameos in recent years in well-known films such as: Jackass: Number Two, and This Film is Not Yet Rated, as well as lending his voice to many projects.

On Friday, Waters will be performing his one-man vaudeville show “This Filthy World” at The Englert Theatre. It highlights his successful journey through Hollywood and the negative factors that influenced his “trash” genre and how his films ironically became notable names among the masses.

Seating is limited. There will be a reception afterwards with complimentary food and beverages at Hotel Vetro for Tier One ticketholders only. It will be attended by Mr. Waters-himself, and he will be more than happy to autography any kind of memorabilia that the audience throws at him.


Mission Creek: John Waters presents “This Filthy World”
Friday April 1st
Englert | Doors at 6, Show at 7 | $20/$25/$75