Review – Hairspray Live At The Dolby Theatre

Garon CockrellMiscellaneousLeave a Comment

Photo by Jeremy Daniel

MAY 2 – MAY 21, 2023

You Can’t Stop the Beat! HAIRSPRAY, Broadway’s Tony Award-winning musical comedy phenomenon is back on tour! Join 16-year-old Tracy Turnblad in 1960’s Baltimore as she sets out to dance her way onto TV’s most popular show. Can a girl with big dreams (and even bigger hair) change the world? Featuring the beloved score of hit songs including “Welcome to the 60’s,” “Good Morning Baltimore” and “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” HAIRSPRAY is “fresh, winning, and deliriously tuneful!” (The New York Times). This all-new touring production reunites Broadway’s award-winning creative team led by Director Jack O’Brien and Choreographer Jerry Mitchell to bring HAIRSPRAY to a new generation of theater audiences.

Photo by Jeremy Daniel

I haven’t seen Hairspray since I was a kid, and that was certainly not a musical. So, it was with basically fresh eyes that I attended the latest incarnation as Hairspray The Musical took over The Dolby Theatre.

It was an absolute blast. Just a joy from start to finish. The cast is impeccable, and Andrew Levitt (otherwise known as the incomparable Nina West) is pitch perfect.

The audience was packed with LGBTQIA celebs and influencers (and one of their dogs), including several Drag Race alum, as well as fans of Hairspray in full costume. Could have gone either way in terms of reception but from where I was sitting, it seemed like that room was feeling unanimous joy. I mean the love the crowd had for Andrew when he came out was incredible.

Honestly, between the stellar ensemble and the joyous welcoming vibe from the entire theater it felt like one of the best times I’ve had in a theatrical show in quite a while.

In a time where the divisions amongst the country are stronger than ever and people and communities are demonized for their art or their identity, a show like Hairspray reinforces the idea that coming together to fight for equality is important and that overcoming these archaic beliefs is how we really come together and it does so in such a perfect way. It’s funny and heartfelt and joyful. The cast brings these characters to life feeling both of the era and modern at the same time.

Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Niki Metcalfe is a perfect Trudy. She’s adorably charming and such a great performer, stunning and talented. One of the show highlights is the show stopping performance from Sandie Lee who stole the show with her rendition of “I Know Where I’ve Been” which fittingly brought the house down. This, along with Andrew Levitt (Edna) and Ralph Prentice Daniel’s (Wilbur) sugar sweet duet of “(You’re) Timeless to Me” are true highlights in a show packed full of them.

Truly fantastic performances and a blast of a story coupled with catchy songs are what keeps Hairspray running strong. I hope this beat doesn’t stop anytime soon.

Catch this at the Dolby Theatre through May 21!

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Garon CockrellReview – Hairspray Live At The Dolby Theatre