Review Roundup: Laguna Playhouse's HAIRSPRAY

GOOD MORNING, LAGUNA BEACH! Laguna Playhouse is thrilled to announce the first show in the Laguna Playhouse 2017-2018 and 97th season with the effervescent musical, HAIRSPRAY, book by Thomas Meehan and Mark O'Donnell, music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, musical direction by Michael Ferrara and directed and choreographed by Paula Hammons Sloan. "We are opening our season with just the perfect show for a Laguna Beach Summer," comments Laguna Playhouse Executive Director Ellen Richard. Adds Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham "We welcome Paula Hammons Sloan and the "nicest kids in town" back to our stage for this nostalgic musical confection. Talent abounds on our stage this Summer!"

HAIRSPRAY will begin previews on Wednesday, July 5; will open on Sunday, July 9 at 5:30pm and will run through Sunday, July 30, 2017 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach.

It's 1962 and Hairspray's big, bold heroine Tracy Turnblad twists, ponys and mashed potatoes her way to Baltimore stardom, while fighting for integration on a local TV dance show. Winner of eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book, HAIRSPRAY knocks your bobby socks off with spectacular songs, energetic dancing, and an uplifting story for all ages!

Let's see what the critics had to say!

The Indy (Daniella Walsh): In the Playhouse show, Tracy's indomitably supportive dad Wilbur, performed by Rick Grossman, hocks his comedy establishment the Har-De-Har Club to spring his daughter and her buddies from jail following a demonstration for equal rights. Kind as he's short, he also encourages his gargantuan wife to finally realize her own dream of becoming a fashion designer for plus-sized women. Their duet, "You're Timeless to Me," brought down the house during Sunday's opening performance. Paula Sloane choreographed and directed the show. She previously directed "Footloose" and "All Shook Up" for the Playhouse. Other standouts in the cast include Allison Foote, as the dance show's producer, Haley Chaney as her insufferable daughter and Tanner Callicutt, an aspiring nouveau Elvis, who in the end rejects the Barbie doll tease for the girl with courage and a social conscience.

OC Register (Eric Marchese): The shining focus of Laguna's staging, Powell's Tracy is bursting with sunny optimism and can-do gumption, well complemented by Kristen Daniels as Tracy's dorky yet loyal, true-blue best pal, Penny. Gruessing's Edna is no drag parody, but a plus-sized, middle-aged matron with a nasally rumbling and New York-inflected voice whose coarse basic nature doesn't belie her love for Wilbur and Tracy. Like daughter Tracy, Grossman's Wilbur is short, chunky and fun-loving. Callicutt's Link a basically good-hearted kid driven to achieve musical fame but not snooty about potential stardom. Chaney's comically shallow airhead Amber is an early '60s Valley Girl with a superiority complex.

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