Hairspray. It was so much fun! We saw Hairspray a few years ago when it toured through, and although I enjoyed it at the time, I preferred this one. This production, directed by Tracey Flye, was engaging and fast-paced and had an intimacy that was really fresh. The whole show is well sung with snappy dances and a sense of fun that bubbles up. There were several outstanding performances that I want to mention: Stephanie Pitsiladis as Tracy Turnblad anchors the piece with powerhouse vocals and acting chops to match. Though tiny, she is never small onstage. Melanie Piatocha as Tracy's best friend Penny is also a delight. She is terrifically funny and having seen her before in ingenue roles I was blown away by her comedic skills. Her romantic counterpart Seaweed, played by J. Cameron Barnett, is also a treat. His voice is chocolaty smooth and his approach to Seaweed is sharp and fresh. He owns it and the already high energy show jumps up whenever he's onstage. And I must give props to Aurianna Angelique as Motormouth Maybelle. Her performance of I Know Where I've Been (along with the ensemble) literally brought tears to my eyes. All in all the show was terrific. It's a sure-fire fun night with a show that has some pretty important messaging about acceptance, but which never lectures!
The first two shows are now closed so you unfortunately can't catch them, however, Hairspray runs until June 15th so you can still make that one.
* I forgot to mention that I was lucky enough to attend all three with the lovely Catherine. Truly a great theatre companion. Mark also joined us for Hairspray and we had the pleasure of Trevor's company for The Crackwalker. It is so wonderful to be able to share these theatre experiences with great people!