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Hairspray – Opera House, Manchester

Music: Marc Shaiman Lyrics: Scott Wittman & Marc Shaiman Book: Mark O’Donnell & Thomas Meehan Director: Paul Kerryson Reviewer: Lizz Clark There’s little more uplifting than a musical about the transformative power of dancing and singing. Hairspray is the tale of Tracy Turnblad, the big little girl growing up in 1960s Baltimore whose youthful exuberance sparks a revolution. Together with ...

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Hairspray – Bradford Alhambra

Writer: Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan Music: Marc Shaiman Lyrics: Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman. Director: Paul Kerrison Choreographer: Drew MConie Reviewer: Sue Collier The opening night performance of Hairspray the UK Tour at The Alhambra Theatre Bradford was of extremely high calibre. The setting is Baltimore in 1962 America. Our heroine is schoolgirl Tracy Turnblad (Rebecca Mendoza) who loves ...

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The Toxic Avenger – Arts Theatre, London

Writer: Joe DiPietro and David Bryan Director: Benji Sperring Reviewer: Richard Maguire Finally, the 2016 Southwark Playhouse production of The Toxic Avenger gets its London transfer. Based on the cult classic film of 1984, this musical, penned by the writers who gave us the underrated Memphis the Musical, is chaotic, messy and irreverent – to quote some of its lyrics, ‘it kicks ass, ...

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Hairspray – Orchard Theatre, Dartford

Book: Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan Director: Paul Kerryson Choreographer: Drew McOnie Reviewer: Dan English Big numbers, big hair and even bigger hearts aplenty as the UK Tour of Hairspray makes its stop at Dartford’s Orchard Theatre. Despite its 60s setting, the Paul Kerryson directed play still has political clout as protagonist Tracy Turnblad fights back against body-shaming and racial ...

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English Touring Opera: La Calisto – Harrogate Theatre

Image by Jane Hobson

Composer: Francesco Cavalli Conductor/Director: Timothy Nelson Designer: Takis Reviewer: Ron Simpson At the start of English Touring Opera’s extensive UK tour, and in sharp contrast to the production of Ulysses’ Homecoming (a much more austere opera, be it said), Timothy Nelson’s imaginative take on Cavalli’s La Calisto got short shrift from the reviewers who unanimously took against its Carry On ...

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Hairspray – Palace Theatre, Manchester

Book: Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan Music: Marc Shaiman Lyrics: Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman Director: Paul Kerryson Reviewer: Malcolm Wallace Adapted from the 1988 film of the same name, Hairspray in its musical form premiered on Broadway in 2002 and has proved phenomenally popular ever since with successful productions worldwide including London’s West End in a production that ran ...

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Hairspray – Liverpool Empire Theatre

Book: Marc O’Donnell &Thomas Meehan Music: Marc Shaiman Lyrics: Scott Whittman &Marc Shaiman Director: Paul Kerryson Reviewer: John Roberts 13 years ago Scott Whittman and Marc Shaiman’s musical adaptation of Hairspray, based on the cult John Waters film of the same name opened on Broadway, just a year later it swept the board with awards at the prestigious Tony Awards ...

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Hairspray – Curve, Leicester

Book: Thomas Meehan Music: Marc Shaiman Lyrics: Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman Director: Paul Kerryson Reviewer: Laura Jayne Bateman Hairspray is one of the most successful new musicals of the 21st century. Based on John Waters’ cult 1988 film, the show opened on Broadway in 2002, ran for over 2,500 performances, and won eight Tony Awards. A new film followed ...

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