Dates and Venue 7 May – 10 July 2011 (Tues at 7:30pm, Wed–Sat at 8pm, and Wed, Sat & Sun at 2pm) | Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, 2750 Granville St.
Reviewer Melanie Ewan
The Arts Club Theatre Company presents Hairspray, the ``big fat musical comedy hit``, which has been reincarnated numerous times worldwide since it was originally brought to life by John Waters in 1988. Director Bill Millerd has pulled out all the stops on this one, bringing in an amazingly talented cast and crew. Diehard fans and first timers alike will not be disappointed by the musical that has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide.
The show opens with Tracy Turnblad, played by Jennie Neumann, welcoming the audience to the musical with Good Morning Baltimore. This beginning wastes no time in drawing us in to the story while introducing a whimsical tone which carries throughout the performance, and introducing us to the backdrop of Baltimore in the 60`s. This is Neumann`s first starring role with the Arts Club, and from the get go she proves to us all why she was chosen.
The following scene
brings us to the Corny Collins Show, where not only do we meet the Nicest
Kids in Town and their hilarious host Corny, played by Matt Palmer,
but we also learn that it is Tracy`s dream to dance on this show. The
next few scenes introduce us to the ever-popular but malicious Amber
Von Tussel, played by Anna Kuman, the dreamy love of Tracy`s life Link
Larken, played by Adam Charles, and the fun-loving singing and dancing
Seaweed J. Stubbs, expertly played by J. Cameron Barnett.
In the first act,
Barnett`s rendition of Run and Tell That got the crowd going
as his ability to sing and dance at an alarming pace (and with such
apparent ease!) completely blew the audience away.
The next hit song, I Know Where I`ve Been, was sung by Alana Hibbert as Motormouth Mabel. It was one of the most beautiful and heartfelt renditions of this song that I have heard and brought the audience to a roaring ovation.
The ending of the musical came with the always enjoyable You Can`t Stop the Beat, which wraps everything up nicely and treats the audience to one more performance of their favourite characters dancing and singing their hearts out.
Hairspray is a never ending parade of energy and sound combined with valuable messages on life and love. The cast are clearly enjoying themselves and put on a fantastic performance. This is musical comedy at its best and I highly recommend it to individuals of all ages and interests.
© 2011 Melanie Ewan