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York Stage Musicals: Hairspray – Grand Opera House, York

Writers: Mark O’Donnell &Thomas Meehan

Music: Mark Shaiman

Lyrics: Scott Whitman, Marc Shaiman

Director &Choreographer: Jessica Hardcastle

Musical Director: Adam Tomlinson

Reviewer: Nicola Harrison

 

Don’t hold me back,

’Cause today, all my dreams will come true!

Hairspray the Broadway Musical is based on the 1988 John Waters film, Hairspray while the original Broadway production premièred on the 15th August 2002.The compilation of songs includes sixtiesstyle dance music with “downtown” rhythm and blues.

It is 1962 in Baltimore, Maryland. Tracey Turnblad (Maya Tether) is an over-sized, but vivacious teenager who dreams of dancing on local television dance programme The Corny Collins Show (based on the real-life Buddy Deane Show). Her charismatic personality and charm win her a place on the show; surely nothing can hold her back?

This high energy, fast track production is fuel driven from the outset. The performanceopens with a showy dance number ‘The Nicest Kids in Town’. This is followed by the colourful hits ‘Mama I’m a Big Girl Now’ and ‘Welcome to the 60’s’, while ‘Negro Day’ is a lively protest song, reminiscent of the social injustices of American society in the Sixties. Act one continues to impress through colourful set and costume designs, action packed drama and well-choreographed dance routines.

Act two makes continued impact through heart-rending duet numbers. ‘You’re Timeless to Me’ performed by Edna (Joe Wawrzyniak) and Wilbur (Andy Stone) and ‘Without Love’ Tracy (Maya Tether) and Link (Conor Mellor), Penny (Maya Bartley O’Dea) and Seaweed (Jemal Felix) are magnificent duo hits.

Maya Tether relishes her part as Tracey Turnblad. Her dynamic character portrayal and versatile vocal performances are outstanding throughout. Maya Bartley O’Dea is a strong vocalist and both comical and sincere in her rôle as Penny Pinkleton. Joe Wawrzyniak is similarly a hard act to follow as drama queen extraordinaire, Edna Turnblad.

The final scene brings the audience to a full standing ovation with flashy musical numbers including the title track ‘Hairspray’ and ‘You Can’t Stop the Beat’.

This dynamic performance is brought to life by Director and Choreographer Jessica Hardcastle and Musical Director Adam Tomlinson, thoroughly captivating the audience throughout with energised, foot-tapping, dance-swaying hits. There is no holding back from the performers, and the creative teamhave produced something to be truly proud of: a show-stopping musical masterpiece.

Reviewed on: 30th March 2015

Writers: Mark O’Donnell &Thomas Meehan Music: Mark Shaiman Lyrics: Scott Whitman, Marc Shaiman Director &Choreographer: Jessica Hardcastle Musical Director: Adam Tomlinson Reviewer: Nicola Harrison   Don’t hold me back, ’Cause today, all my dreams will come true! Hairspray the Broadway Musical is based on the 1988 John Waters film, Hairspray while the original Broadway production premièred on the 15th August 2002.The compilation of songs includes sixtiesstyle dance music with “downtown” rhythm and blues. It is 1962 in Baltimore, Maryland. Tracey Turnblad (Maya Tether) is an over-sized, but vivacious teenager who dreams of dancing on local television dance programme The Corny…

Review Overview

The Public Reviews Score

Show-stopping musical masterpiece!

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The Reviews Hub - Yorkshire & North East
The Yorkshire & North East team is under the editorship of Charlotte Broadbent. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.