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Hairspray is a fast-moving musical which leaves you entertained

Hairspray is a fast-moving musical which leaves you entertained

by Henry James (August 2021)

FROM the moment the Broadway musical, Hairspray, starts the action is fast-moving, and the sets and costumes are bright.

The musical features Tracy Turnblad (Katie Brace) who dreams of appearing on the TV dance show, The Corny Collins Show.

Katie Brace, who is making her professional debut here, appears in almost every scene and must have non-stop energy to portray the part of Tracy Turnblad. She really comes into her own when singing You Can’t Stop The Beat at the end of the show.

Tracy’s mother, Edna Turnblad, is played by Paul Hutton and her father, Wilbur Turnblad is Norman Pace. Some people may remember him from the Hale and Pace comedy show, which ran from 1986 until 1998. On the night I went, they brought the house down while singing You’re Timeless To Me in the second half. Both performers timing was spot on.

The show is all about the integration of black and white performers. This is powerfully portrayed in the number I Know Where I’ve Been, which is expertly sung by Brenda Edwards, who is Motormouth Maybelle.

Also worthy of note are Rebecca Jayne-Davies as Penny Pingleton, and Akeem Ellis-Hyman as Seaweed.

The music by Marc Shaiman is very upbeat and sometimes rousing. Shaiman also wrote the music for Mary Poppins Returns. The most famous tune, You Can’t Stop The Beat, is left until the very end of the show.

This is a feel good show which provides an entertaining evening.

It can be seen at The Liverpool Empire until this Saturday (September 4). 9/10



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