Hairspray at Diamond Head Theatre
Hairspray, the fun and boisterous Broadway musical, is now playing at Diamond Head Theatre through August 7. Though it lasts two and a half hours, the upbeat songs keep you entertained, while the ’60s dance moves such as “the pony” or “the Madison” make you wish that they were still in fashion in 2011.
Set in segregation-era Baltimore, Hairspray features Tracy Turnblad, a teenager obsessed with a TV dance show called The Corny Collins Show, and she auditions to become a member in the cast. Her pleasantly plump size makes her the butt of jokes amongst the other cast members, but that doesn’t stop the host, Corny, from placing her on the show. This gives Tracy instant fame, which she uses to help integrate the show and make every day be “Negro Day.”
Tracy’s large and lovable mother, Edna Turnblad, is played traditionally by a male in drag—and, Diamond Head couldn’t have cast it better. New York guest artist, Randl Ask, who last played at Diamond Head Theatre in La Cage aux Folles in 2006, took on the task to play Edna, and he did it exceptionally. And, I dare say, he even stole the show. One of my favorite moments in the musical is the duet between Edna and her husband, Wilbur (Howard Bishop) in “Timeless to Me.” Both actors were funny, delightful and completely believable. It deserved a standing ovation.
Two scenes later, Toni Russell, who plays Motormouth Maybelle, sang a beautiful rendition of “I Know Where I’ve Been”—a meaningful song for any decade. The musical culminates to the final, and biggest, number of the night, “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” an extremely catchy song with the entire cast dancing, singing and clapping.
Be forewarned: Hairspray will have you singing and copying dance moves on the car ride home.
Hairspray plays at Diamond Head Theatre from now through August 7. For ticket and time information, please visit diamondheadtheatre.com.