I caved into my recent case of the Broadway bug and went to see the last performance of Hairspray at the Hobby. The Broadway bug is like the flu but more expensive. It all started when my kids brought home a Wicked CD. Now I can sing any tune from Rent and it’s not pretty. Back to Hairspray, and what brings a Dancehunter to such an event.
It’s hard to imagine John Water’s involvement in such a family friendly tame production as Hairspray. Didn’t I just hear him on NPR saying he strives to be a negative role model for kids. All that aside, this perky little upbeat Broadway musical aspires to DANSICAL status. Once this baby cranks up it’s non-stop dancing, never mind it’s all about dance. The story, in half a nutshell: Tracy Turnblad lands a coveted place as a dancer on the all-white all-blond Corney Collins Show. She learns her grooves from one savvy mover, Seaweed Stubbs. Then it’s off to sing sing for trying to integrate the show. Tracy’s theory is that dance brings everyone together. Now there’s a concept. Keala Settle as Tracy dances up a thunder storm, never mind she can rock the congregation with her voice. Alan Mingo Jr.’s Seaweed wins the smooth moves award. In the end, Tracy sings (in motion every second), “you can’t stop the beat.” You tell’em Tracy!