Hairspray is a colorfuly fun musical about the spunky plus sized teen, Tracy Turnblad ( played by Chisty Burbank), living out her dream of being on the most popular local television program “The Corny Collins Show”, and sharing that dream with all her friends. Even when that could mean going to jail.
Hairspray is directed by Henry Avery, with music directed by Shelly Andes, and choreography by Peter Bennett. This production used the full length of the stage, and Avery and Bennett did a fabulous job filling the space. This is very much a dancing show and all the dancing was on point. This is also a comedy, and the comedic timing by the cast insured that every joke stuck the landed.
There are interesting visual perspectives that have been snuck into this show to display the oppressive undertones of the show. This show takes place in the 1960’s during the Civil Rights area. To demonstrate the discrimination between the blacks and whites, the blacks are often seen dancing in the back, but when there scene comes up, instead of simply coming to the front, everyone else turns around, so they are still in the back of the crowd. The only time they come to the front is when Tracy interacts with them. This makes Tracy the bridge between the two social groups. The message is subtle, but powerful.
In live theater it is difficult to be perfect every time. On the night I went the show seemed to start off a little shaky. Burbank sounded like she might have been getting over a cold, because of this her vocal performance wasn’t quite where I would expect it to be. Hopefully this is just temporary issue and she will be in full swing by next weekend. That being said, I don't think it took away from the show. Burbank’s fun attitude brought an energy to the stage that you couldn’t help but to love.
The duo that I felt surprising stood out was Edna and Wilbur Turnblad played by Joshua Vallano and Deron Foster. Vallano and Foster had a chemistry on stage that was that was pure, and hilariously magical. Whenever they left the stage I couldn’t wait for them to come back.
Another duo that I feel deserve some recognition is the that of the two Costume designers Mejo Okon and Sheron Welz. This is a very costume heavy show. With a cast of 36 and at least three costume changes for each, it’s definitely a huge endeavor, but nothing seemed rushed. Every costume fit perfectly within each scene.
The set design by Ryan Jason Cook worked perfectly with the costumes to create a colorful world for the characters to live in. Cook made use of different levels on the stage so the full length of the stage could be used without losing anyone, or making the stage feel crowded. Each scene change was so smooth that I didn’t even know they were happening.
Over all I found the show extremely enjoyable. It is definitely a show for the whole family. If you want to see it, Hairspray will be showing on friday, Saturday, and Sunday through to June 19th 2016.