Do you like musicals?
Interesting how people often lump all types of “musicals” as being one thing, and categorically answer “yes” or “no” (more often “no”) to that question.
Do I like musicals? Some, very much. Others, not really. Loved Moulin Rouge, Les Miz, Once More With Feeling (Buffy musical), Rocky Horror, Singing in the Rain, Tommy (the play), Hair (the critically drubbed movie), and Grease. Didn’t so much care for Chicago (despite the Oscars), Oklahoma (the play), Tommy (the movie), and Hair (the play).
So wasn’t sure what I’d make of Hairspray, part of the Broadway Series playing at Centre the in Square. Would I be transported, or sighing as yet another song stopped everything dead?
Not having seen the original movie, the movie remake, nor any other version of this play live, I have to say, I thought this was fantastic. (And so did Jean which, trust me, is high praise.) The swing dancing was top-notch and a lot of fun to watch; the very good-natured plot moved along swiftly; the tiny lead actress had a serious set of chops; and many characters—particularly that of the best friend—were just comic gold.
I will recognize that the lead actress was not quite as good a dancer as the part requires, and that a couple of the slower numbers in the second half did seem a little—slow. Overall, however, no matter. I went in sleepy and grumpy and emerged upbeat and smiling. That’s a fine musical in my book.
Up next: the local production of The Producers. [Postscript: Which turned out to be another musical… I didn’t enjoy.]