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Review: OKC Broadway reaches new heights with HAIRSPRAY

Review: OKC Broadway reaches new heights with HAIRSPRAY

OKC Broadway presents the new tour of Hairspray through September 11th.

The national tour of HAIRSPRAY makes its stop at the Civic Center, now through September 11th, 2022. The period piece about love, music, and beauty products has become an icon amongst musical theatre fans. The tour is new, yet it's very similar to the 2002 Broadway production. If you're looking for a musical with characters you know and love, you'll find that here in spades. Predictability is not always a bad thing, and the nostalgia that comes with this show is fitting to its early 1960s timeframe. With book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan and music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, Hairspray is a look back on how the world was and how big changes start with simple ideas. The new production is directed by Matt Lenz with choreography by Robbie Roby.

Everywoman Tracy Turnblad is the teenaged heroine we all know and love. When she lands a spot on the fabulous Corny Collins dance show, she just wants her friends from school to dance on tv with her. It's a simple enough concept, but with the Civil Rights movement just beginning, the odds are stacked against her. Tracy and her band of vivacious teenagers will stop at nothing to integrate the show, even if it means being arrested and missing school. One thing they won't do, however, is sacrifice their hairstyles. This is the era of beehives and bouffants, and hair spray is in high demand.

Tracy is endearingly played by Niki Metcalf. She works well opposite Ryahn Evers as the villainous Amber Von Tussle and Nick Cortazzo as heartthrob Link Larkin. Tracy's best friend Penny is played smartly by Emery Henderson, while Charlie Bryant III is a perfect match as her true love Seaweed. If the show belongs to one person, it's undoubtedly Andrew Levitt as Edna Turnblad. This iconic character is a loving mother who is typically cast by an actor of the opposite gender. Edna is humble and supportive, and she pulls at the heartstrings of all watching. Levitt is imposing and strong, but also tender and loving. The audience can't get enough of him in this role. Edna's partner Wilbur is portrayed by Ralph Prentice Daniel. Daniel characterizes Wilbur as loyal and honest, hardworking, and true. Sandie Lee is a showstopper as Motormouth Maybelle. She's a powerhouse vocalist and a dynamic performer.

The orchestra is having the most fun of anyone in the show, and no one is more excited than Music Director Julius LaFlamme. Associate Conductor/Keyboard is Charlie Yokom. Nathaniel Zembruski is on keyboard, Michael Brinzer is on reeds, Dustin Ciano is on trumpet, and Jon Dowd is on trombone. Matt Patton is on guitar, Ryan Crum is on bass, and Max Braunstein is on drums. John Mezzio serves as Musical Coordinator.

Hairspray is a musical with a heart and a message, and it's a playbook of how we should all embrace change. It uplifts audiences and moods and reminds us that we all want the same things in life - a chance to dance, to be accepted by our peers, and maybe just a little more hairspray.

THE PROM Comes to the Lyric Theatre in July 2023 Photo
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Voting Now Open For The 2022 BroadwayWorld Oklahoma Awards Photo
Voting is now open for the 2022 BroadwayWorld Oklahoma Awards! Nominations were reader-submitted and now our readers get to vote for their favorites.

BIG RIVER Comes to Lyric Theatre in 2023 Photo
With the support of over 100 national consensus organizers (individuals and organizations serving the black community), this revision of Broadway’s Tony Award-Winning Musical will lift your spirit. The hour-long version of Mark Twain’s novel removes offensive language and expands the role of Jim, now the same age as Huck.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL is Now Playing at Lyric Theatre Photo
Lyric Theatre's internationally acclaimed production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL returns this month in its final outdoor production at The Harn Homestead, 1721 N. Lincoln Blvd. Once again, Lyric's beloved holiday tradition will whisk audiences away to a magical holiday village nestled in the heart of Oklahoma City.

From This Author - Adrienne Proctor

Adrienne Proctor is an Oklahoma City-based writer, theatre-goer, and mom. An avid supporter of the arts, Adrienne has reviewed regional, university, and Broadway theatre productions since 2017... (read more about this author)

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Review: OKC Broadway reaches new heights with HAIRSPRAYReview: OKC Broadway reaches new heights with HAIRSPRAY
September 7, 2022

OKC Broadway opens their fall season with the new tour of HAIRSPRAY. This is the Hairspray you know and love, with iconic musical numbers and higher than high hair dos. When teenaged Tracy Turnblad lands a spot on the Corny Collins show, she wants nothing more than to dance on TV with her friends. She and her gang set out to integrate the show.