Theatre Under THe Stars

Written and directed by John Waters, music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman

Dates and Venue July 10 - August 21, 2015 at 8pm on alternating nights | Malkin Bowl, Stanley Park

Director Sarah Rodgers Choreography Julie Tomaino Music Director Chris D. King Assistant Director Alen Dominguez Assistant Music Director Kevin Woo

Reviewer Cassie SIlva

Welcome to the 60's!

Stanley Park was transformed into 1962 Baltimore when Theatre Under the Stars opened Hairspray last night to a packed crowd. Erin E. Walker played the title role of the likeable Tracy Turnblad who desperately wants to dance on The Corny Collins Show and is willing to defy the odds to make her dream happen. Along the way, she also sets her sights on teen heartthrob Link Larkin (Dustin Freeland) and being crowned Miss Teenage Hairspray.

Hannah Williams and David Lindo-Reid stood out as Tracy's best friend Penny Pingleton and her forbidden romance, Seaweed J Stubbs. Naturally, Andy Toth stole the show as Tracy's plus-sized mom, Edna Turnblad. Cecilly Day also impressed as Motormouth Maybelle. The set was colourful and impressive, and frequently changing. Costuming was also well done, and played a significant role in making this production what it was.

Hairspray is a feel-good summer musical that delighted everyone in attendance. A main theme of the show is racial integration, and the cast reflected Vancouver's racial diversity. Everyone left feeling empowered, as Tracy helped herself and her mom learn to love their curves rather than give into society's body shaming messages.

A gorgeous summer evening truly makes a TUTS production wonderful - warm clear weather, followed by post-intermission hot chocolate and cuddling up with a blanket as the night cools down. Hairspray really is the ideal Vancouver night out. I wish I could see it again! Along with many others, I left singing the catchy memorable tunes, with a smile on my face and a bounce in my step.

© 2015 Cassie SIlva