Artisteer

Hairspray

~ William Russell for The Herald - 01/11/2007 ~


Film versions of stage musicals used to have to wait until the show's stage life was over. But this energetic show, based on the old John Waters film about rock'n'roll and big hair styles in 1962 Baltimore, is the exception.

The film version of the Broadway musical was released this summer, yet here, with an all-British cast, we have the stage show, now in its fifth year on Broadway. Marc Shaiman's loud score is lacking in memorable tunes, and one cannot catch all the words of the lyrics above the noise from the orchestra, but if Hairspray the musical is an overly camp reincarnation of a dated piece of cinematic schlock, it hardly matters.

A splendid cast, gloriously tacky sets by David Rockwell, gorgeous drag by William Ivey Long, dazzling choreography by Jerry Mitchell and slick direction of Jack O'Brien save the day. Hairspray is not a great musical, but it is great fun. Newcomer Leanne Jones, as Tracy Turnblad, the fat teenager with a lot of lacquer, who longs to dance on a TV show and makes friends with coloured folk - unheard of in Baltimore in the 1960s - is terrific. She has a powerful voice and charm.

As her mother, Edna, Michael Ball has the part of a lifetime. Obese and camp, Ball is the best pantomime dame London has seen in years. He and Mel Smith, in fine form as Tracy's dad, Wilbur, have a hilarious duet in which they celebrate the joys of married life. There is immaculate support from Tracie Bennet as Vilma Von Tussle, producer of the show Tracy wants to be on, and Johnnie Fiori as Motormouth, a blond-haired, red-hot momma civil rights activist. Forget grease, try lacquer.

Michael Ball @ Social Media
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

JustBall.Net @ Social Media & more
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Amazon
Home
Latest Updates
On Stage: UK Tour 2019

April & May 2019
Book your tickets

On Stage: Les Miserable in Concert

10 August - 30 November 2019

Michael as Javert, Alfie as Valjean

Book your tickets

On Stage: Hairspray at the Coliseum

From 23 April 2020

Strictly Limited Run

Book your tickets

Solo Album: Coming Home to You

Release Date New Album: 22 March 2019
(entered UK Album Charts at #1)

Order your copy

Weekly Radio Show

Contact Us | JBN - The Team | Home
Copyright © 2018 ---. All Rights Reserved. ---

Website Owners: Kerstin Wohlgemuth (Dulmen, Germany) and Julia Sedat (Potsdam, Germany)

This is not an official website. Michael Ball does not own, control, authorize or endorse it, nor is he responsible for its contents.
Any emails sent to this website will NOT be forwarded to Michael Ball..