23rd-30th May 2015
Photographs from the show by Alan Martin – see more by clicking here…
NODA – Patricia Connor, Region 6 Representative
Hairspray is an American musical based on the 1988 John Waters film with the same name with music written by Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman from a book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan. The music is 1960s-style dance music and the show is set in Baltimore during 1962 where teenager Tracy Turnblad has a dream to dance on The Corny Collins TV Show. The story follows Tracy’s journey to achieve that dream and on the way she tries to right some wrongs. This is is a demanding fast paced musical and “BOS Musical Theatre Company”more than rose to the challenge by producing a colourful, dynamic entertaining show which the audience appeared to enjoy very much. The predominately young cast worked together with loads of energy and enthusiasm resulting in a number of excellent performances. Bethany Lewis was secure and confident in the central role of Tracy Turnblad, she had a good singing voice which suited the songs in this show very well. Devon Motte as heartthrob Link Larkin one of the stars of the TV show, looked and acted the part very well and Nathan Colman was literally larger-than-life as Tracey’s mother Edna Turnblad playing a women who changes from drudge to diva with lots of spirit and aplomb. The Mother and daughter duo Velma von Tussle (Sarah McNally) and Amber von Tussle (Lauren Millar) were very believable in their roles, both had good stage presence producing excellent performance. Lucie Clarke was outstanding as Tracy’s best friend the timid Penny Pingleton, she maintained her character at all times and her comic timing was spot on. Mitch Mimms as Penny’s love interest Seaweed J Stubbs had lots of ability and was an exciting dancer. Mitch along with Lucie performed with loads of energy and skill during the last number “You Can’t Stop the Beat” they were perfectly in sync and were a joy to watch. Other enjoyable principal performances included Nick Lloyd as Corny Collins the host of the Corny Collins Show, Chloe Davies as Motormouth Maybelle Seaweeds mother and owner of a record shop, Bruce Lee as lovely geeky Wilbur Turnblad Tracy’s father and Jhanaica Mook as Little Inez who is a talent to watch for the future. The principal cast were well supported by the smaller roles and the ensemble who together also produce some very enjoyable interesting characterizations, they performed with loads of energy were very polished and appeared to be really enjoying themselves.
The band conducted by Musical Director Charles Moss played excellently providing security and support to the cast, making a great sound.Choreography is a very important element of this dynamic show and Mary Forbes produced some well thought out effective moves that were executed superbly by the cast. Costumes were bright and colourful looked great and were just right for the era, the early 60s look was rounded off with some spectacular hairstyles which were spot-on for this show.
American accents were very good and maintained throughout the show I didn’t hear any slips at all. However just a small constructive point I did struggle on the odd occasions to hear some small sections of dialogue, maybe one or two of the cast could look at their projection and diction.
I must congratulate all involved in this really excellent production including all backstage crew front of house and especially the Director the talented Liz Clarke whose hard work definitely paid off.
Thank you for making my friend and me welcome, we had a super time and we hope to see you again for your next production a big well done everybody.
Champion News – Jenny Robson
THE students from Patterson Park High School are buzzing with excitement as they audition to get on to the Corny Collins television show.
One of the regulars, Brenda, is leaving (for nine months!) so who will fill the gap? Cue the competition between plain and plump Tracy and beautiful blonde Amber. Both are also plying for the attention of Link Larkin (Devon Motte looking every inch the teenage heart-throb, especially when he wears his white suit).
Bethany Lewis has lots of enthusiasm and energy so is perfect as Tracy, reprising the role she first played three years ago with SONG.
Lucie Clarke is a pleasure to watch as Penny. Her mannerisms and expressions are on show even when in the background.
There are some excellent comic duos – namely Nathan Colman in drag as Edna Turnblad and Bruce Lee as her husband Wilbur.
Amber (Lauren Millar) and her pushy mother Velma (Sarah McNally) bounce off each other very well – as do Motormouth Maybelle (Chloe Davies) and Seaweed (Mitch Mimms).
Nick Lloyd does a good job as Corny Collins and Jhanaica Mook is suitably cute as Little Inez.
The show is set in America during the sixties – except that it isn’t swinging for everyone. There is a dramatic racial problem but – hey! – Tracy is coming to the rescue with plans for integration. After a short spell in prison for protesting, Tracy gets her way and unites all races on the Corny Collins Show. It is no surprise when Amber is voted Miss Ultra Clutch Hairspray (albeit a little too early!) but Tracy isn’t interested in the title. After all, she has Link!
Despite a few sound problems and some of the words being indecipherable, this is a good production with fancy choreography, energetic music from Charles Moss and his band and much vivacity from the whole cast.