You can always tell how good a production is going to be by the buzz in the theatre from the audience before the show had even started. There was a fantastic energy as everyone took to their seats and as soon as the curtain went up the audience were hooked. Good Morning Baltimore is an excellent opening number and it is executed wonderfully with Freya Sutton being adorable as Tracy Turnblad.
The show quickly introduces you to the cast and straight away there are standout performances from Velma Von Tussle (Claire Sweeney) and Edna Turnblad (Tony Maudsley). Hairspray is a fast moving show with an amazing soundtrack which is brought to life not only the great voices in the show but also the fantastic dancers.
Under the direction of Paul Kerryson the show is true to the smash hit film but with even more feel good factor which comes from the great performances throughout the show. It’s a big show running two and a half hours with the first act being the larger portion of the show however the story and the soundtrack carry you along. Many of the scenes feature the live band and this adds a real touch of class to the show. The show carries a great message of equality and it is delivered well in this production with Motormouth Maybelle (Brenda Edwards) giving a five star performance. Her number I Know Where I Have Been is one of the musical highlights of the show. The show finishes with You Can’t Stop The Beat which the audience loves and the cast gets a well deserved stand ovation.
Hairspray is a wonderful show, perfect for everyone and a must see whilst it is in town. As a reviewer Wicked has been a stand out show for me for a couple of years… Hairspray is now a strong contender for the number one spot.
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For Canal St Online by Mark Geary