Hairspray

  • Date:
    June 1, 2003
    Review by:
    Alan Bird

    Music by Marc Shaiman, Lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, Book by Thomas Meehan and Mark O'Donnell (Based on John Waters' 1988 film).
    Directed by Jack O'Brien
    Choreography by Jerry Mitchell

    Review by Alan Bird
    June 2003

    Tracy Turnblad is a frolicsome, short but larger than average girl with a large appetite for food and even larger appetite for hairspray which she uses in bounteous amounts in order to hold her mammoth hairstyle in place.

    Her one ambition is to get on the local television disco show, where white teens dance to black music. Tracy against all the odds, successfully auditions for the show, wins the heart of the show�s heartthrob Link Larkin and ends the show�s segregation, thus allowing white and black teens to dance together.

    This is a happy go lucky world where dressing up, dancing, being outrageously camp or having a portly figure are all celebrated to excess. Kitsch has never been so tasteful. It is the oddballs who are the heroes of this show!

    The story is juvenile and although the music is vintage 60�s style, even down to the �Bop-be-ba, ba-ba-ba-ba�, it is hardly sensational. Yet the characters are so much larger then life that one cannot help but enjoy Hairspray. If the idea of floating on a stream of sweet sticky candyfloss does not make you feel ill, then you will love this show.

    (Alan Bird)

    What the critics had to say.....

    BEN BRENTLEY of the NEW YORK TIMES says "endearing new musical." JEREMY GERARD of the NEW YORK MAGAZINE says "so many numbers...bring down the house." HOWARD KISSEL of the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS says "Hairspray is a gas" TERRY BYRNE of THE BOSTON HERALD says "every moment of this music snaps, crackles and pops" MICHAEL SOMMERS of STAR-LEDGER "splashy show that's consistently tuneful, upbeat..." ELYSA GARDNER of USA TODAY says �simple, solid core of warmth and goodwill.� DENNIS CUNNINGHAM of NY1 says "first-rate production." DAVID DENBY of the NEW YORKER says "exhilaratingly funny" CHARLES ISHERWOOD of VARIETY says Harvey Fierstein is "effortlessly adorable" PETER MARKS of the WASHINGTON POST says "thoroughly solid piece of musical theater" MARY CAROLE McCAULEY of the BALTIMORE SUN says "the wistfulness....makes this show so good"

    External links to full reviews from newspapers

    New York Times
    New York Magazine
    New York Daily News
    USA Today
    New Yorker
    Variety
    Washington Post
    Baltimore Sun