What a shame that all the energy onstage at Hairspray is soon gonna be trimmed. Caught a performance over the weekend, and the show's a delight.
Yeah, sometimes it's silly and over the top, but it captures the feel of 60s music and - with its subtext of racial integration and believing in who you are - that sense of political ferment that defined the era. It's a message musical coated in bright-coloured packaging.
Even better, the performances kick it into the stratosphere. Tom Rooney and the cross-dressing Jay Brazeau are wonderful as the loving parents of the central figure, played by Vanessa Olivarez . Michael Torontow makes a great heartthrob for Olivarez, while Sean Matthews 's dancing rocks the stage. And you couldn't find sharper comic portrayals than those of Charlotte Moore and Susan Henley as various parental figures.
The show's set to close the end of November, so don't wait. You can get $26 rush seats three hours before any show. See listings, page 109, for details.