INsite Magazine

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Good morning, Baltimore!

Welcome to the '60s, Gainesville! Tracy Turnblad with all of her family, friends, and hair-raising fashions brought the comedic musical Hairspray to a packed Phillips Center last night. Set in 1962 in Baltimore, the show’s about a girl (Danielle Arci) with a big heart who just wants to dance... and end segregation.

Each number was better than the last. “I Can Hear the Bells” and “Without Love” had clever choreography and use of props. Motormouth Maybelle’s (Debra Thais Evans) “I Know Where I’ve Been” stood out in sobering, soulful sincerity from the other more playful numbers - a reminder that underneath the flashy costumes and hilarious numbers, the show’s topic of discrimination is a serious matter.

One surprise of the night was during the end of “(You’re) Timeless to Me.” Tracy’s mother Edna (Jerry O’Boyle – yes, the role is played by a man) said, “You don’t look Jewish” and Tracy’s father Wilbur (Mark Harmon) said “You can’t always tell.” Edna countered “Oh, yes you can!” The actors completely lost it - locked in an embrace, they broke out in fits of giggles. The orchestra held the note and the audience howled while the actors composed themselves for the remaining bars of the song.

The flashiest number with the brightest costumes and most difficult dance moves was the finale “You Can’t Stop the Beat.” The large, 20-something-year-old man two rows in front of me danced in his seat throughout the entire hit. As the song turned into final bows, the audience members rose from their seats for a roaring standing ovation. Well, a dancing ovation: I caught the middle age man in front of me shaking his hips and the elderly couple behind me tapping their toes.

--Bridget Higginbotham

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home