Just when I thought last year’s production of Chicago at the Lake Worth Playhouse was the best I’d ever see at the community theater, they raised the bar this summer with Hairspray. It’s hard to believe this is a community theater.
The show follows the story of plump Tracy Turnblad in 1962 Baltimore, Maryland. Her dream is to dance on a local TV dance program, The Corny Collins Show. After winning a role on the show Tracy becomes an overnight celebrity. She then launches a campaign to integrate the show. Even though integration is no longer an issue, the show serves an important history lesson showcasing the ridiculousness of racial segregation.
Putting the serious themes of the show aside the musical comedy is lighthearted and fun. From the moment it starts, the energy is high, and never lets up. The cast was flawless. And while all of them did an excellent job it was the women that stole the show. From Kelsey West (Tracy Turnblad) whose vocals and dancing were top notch to Nikki Bradley (Motormouth) who’s solo I Know Where I’ve Been, brought the house down. Bradley’s rendition was spectacular. Her vocals soared and the song rightfully ended in thunderous applause from the audience.
Another highlight and pleasant surprise included the trio group Dynamite played by Cerina Anderson, Cassandra Kroon and Fednike Nazistene. Their presence was felt throughout the show and rather than blending into the background they stood out like stars.
Alexandria Lowery (Little Inez) was a firecracker on stage. She may be one of the younger cast members, but you couldn’t tell that from her performance.
John Costanzo (Tracy’s mother Edna) isn’t a woman, but he did play one on stage. Costanzo is a regular at the Playhouse, but this may be his most memorable role yet. His makeup and costumes was spot on and his performance stayed true to the original.
This is one of those shows you may want see again…and again.
Hairspray runs through July 29. Tickets are $23 to $35. Visit LakeWorthPlayhouse.org for more information.