Tuesday, August 10, 2010

partial review of *Hairspray*

“Welcome to the ‘60s”: It may sound quaint, but Hairspray‘s anthem isn’t just a return to Beach Boys innocence. As shimmied and shouted in director Kirk Mouser’s Coeur d’Alene production, it’s a party-whoop celebration of freedom from prejudice and the sheer joy of living. The plus-size mother-daughter team, Edna and Tracy Turnblad (Roger Welch and Lindsey Hedberg) may have personified Dowdy and Dorky until now, but a revolution is underway, and the big girls, the black girls — and especially, the big black girls (like Deidra Grace’s Motormouth Maybelle) are going to get some respect and get it now.
The Dynamites (think: the Supremes) start harmonizing, some of those crazy kids from The Corny Collins Show start cavorting all over the stage, and soon Edna and Tracy are popping out of Mr. Pinky’s Hefty Hideaway in matching outfits: They’re here, they’re heavy, and they don’t give a hoot. “Welcome to the ‘60s,” like the show it encapsulates, is a joyous bitch-slap to the faces of snobs and bigots everywhere.
And that’s why people enjoy Hairspray so much: the unloved, unpopular, put-upon kid in all of us … she gets to stand up and sing! And dance! And make out in the backseat with that dreamy Link Larkin! Go, Mama, go-go-go!
With creative choreography, inventive direction, a tuneful score, plenty of energy and an anti-discrimination message, Hairspray (through Aug. 21) is clearly CdA Summer Theatre’s best production this season.

{This is the first half of the review that will appear in the 8/12/10 Inlander; photo by Young Kwak -- from left: Lindsey Hedberg as Tracy Turnblad, Keyonna Vene Wright as Little Inez, Deidra Grace as Motormouth Maybelle, and Gabe Lawson as Seaweed J. Stubbs}

Hairspray welcomes you to the ‘60s on Thursdays-Saturdays, Aug. 12-14 and Aug. 19-21, at 7:30 pm, and on Sunday, Aug. 15, at 2 pm at NIC’s Boswell Hall, 1000 W. Garden Ave., Coeur d’Alene. Tickets: $39; $35, seniors; $25, children. Visit cdasummertheatre.com or call (208) 769-7780.


  1. Bobo, why didn't you review Pump Boys & Dinettes, or Cinderella. You really missed out if you didn't see them.

  2. Cinderella was the show of the season for me.