Get ready to shake and shimmy when you see the feel-good, colourful production, Hairspray. This Tony award-winning Broadway musical has grooved its way into the Regent Theatre, and is full of bops and joyful moments. Feel transported to 1960s, and see the nicest kids in town live on stage.
Hairspray tells the delightful story of dance enthusiast Tracy Turnblad who long harbours a dream to dance on The Corny Collins Show. When her dream comes true, she becomes an overnight sensation, and becomes one step closer to winning the affections of heartthrob Link Larkin. Along the way, she campaigns for social change, and with the help of some newfound friends, fights to integrate a TV network in Baltimore. While the show tackles heavy themes surrounding racial inequality, the musical is full of light-hearted characters, fun jokes, and bright moments to keep you having a good time.
Making her professional musical theatre debut is Carmel Rodrigues, in the role of Tracy Turnblad. With plenty of earnestness and sugary pep, excellent dance moves and wonderful singing, Rodrigues perfectly captures the spirit of the big-haired Tracy.
Familiar Aussie performers also take the stage, including Shane Jacobson as Tracy’s mother, Edna Turnblad, and Todd McKenney as Tracy’s father Wilbur Turnblad. Together, they make an adorably funny pair. Meanwhile, Rob Mills turns up the charm as Corny Collins, and Rhonda Burchmore delivers a menacing performance as Velma Von Tussle.
One notable standout was Javon King in the role of Seaweed J. Stubbs. As a New York City-based performer, this was King’s first role in Australia, and his dance moves on stage was absolutely fluid and a wonderful sight to behold. Mackenzie Dunn, in the role of Tracy’s friend Penny, also did a great job of conveying a sense of teenage kookiness.
Asabi Goodman uses her 40 years of vocal experience to nail the emotional beats of the show, delivering a moving and powerful performance of the song I Know Where I’ve Been.
Originally directed by Jack O’Brien (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots), this Australian production is brought to life by director Matt Lenz and choreographed by Dominic Shaw. It all comes together to create a fun time, culminating in an energising finale of the iconic You Can’t Stop The Beat. With bright sets, colourful costumes and feel-good score, a night at Hairspray is a safe bet for a fun time.