BWW Review: HAIRSPRAY at Linz Landestheater - The Nicest Kids in Linz!
The Musiktheater Linz brings you back to the 60's with Hairspray. This production
offers you colorful costumes, big dance numbers, catchy show tunes, and lessons
that teach about America's racial past. The combination of English and German
lyrics used for this production gives you the feelling of the music back in the
day, and also was more understandable for the (mostly german speaking)
Ariana Schirasi-Fard as Tracy Turnblad, a big teenage girl from Baltimore, pulls
everybody into her world. With her loving energy and her comedic talent, she made
the audience fall in love with her.
In spite of that, for a show about integration, it would be pleasing to see an actual
plus size actress in the role of Tracy instead of an actress in a fatsuit, to represent
more body diversity on stage.
Speaking of a woman's body, Ricardo Greco as Edna Turnblad really brought a
caring sense of motherhood to his character, making the connection to his 'on stage
daughter' even bigger.
However, a good musical would be nothing without a good, evil antagonist. Kristin
Hälck was made to play Velma van Tussle on stage. Her fearless personality
and high notes in Miss Baltimore Crabs made it impossible not to be effected by her
presence. Her daughter, Amber van Tussle ( Hannah Kastner), also captivated us
with her stage presence. In the beginning Hannah played the typical mean-girl
strereotype, but found a very truthful essence throughout the show, making her
character more human and lovable.
Considering Mr. Teenage Heartthrob Link Larkin's ( Gernot Romic) great performance
of "It takes two" made the hearts of the audience melt. It was unfortunate to see the
characters point of view and lack of growth, making Larkin seem he is just the
perfect Ken doll accessory.
The tear jerker moment of the show was definetly Amanda Whitford as Motormouth
Maybelle. Her rendition of the song "I know where I've been", was praised by the
audience with a standing ovation. Maybelle's son Seaweed's ( Dinipiri Etebu) killer
dance moves not only impressed Penny Pingleton (Ruth Fuchs) but the entire
audience. Etebu brought his own unique style to the show, making the story more
authentic and relatable.
This iconic Broadway musical is not one to miss! You will exit the theatre with a
joyful feeling while singing the songs on your way back home. From the lights to the
costumes, it is definitely a show for the whole family and it proves again that
'together we are strong'.
PHOTO CREDITS: Barbara Pálffy