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HAIRSPRAY

Curtain Call Productions


Directors Gail Montague and Joel Montague
Musical director Malcolm Forbes
Dance Director Joel Montague

This romantic musical has all the elements to bring an audience to its feet. They now not only respond by applauding, the applause is accompanied by woo-wooing and screaming. This group’s patrons certainly raised the decibels especially in “You Can’t Stop the Beat”.

The production team brought together scenery, wigs and costumes (in house) characterising 1960s Baltimore. All the cheesy, stylised, gloss and slightly larger-than-life residents were there in abundance. The overall look of the piece was given an extra dimension with the lighting. The sound quality, however, was poor. There were dead mic’s, and mic’s were coming on and off. This let the production down. Congratulations to the performers who had to cope with this and dealt with it very well.

A depth of character is not called for in this musical. The story line is strong, uncomplicated and simple, as in a lot of new musical theatre. It is the music and the staging of the musical numbers that make or break this show. The numbers have to be big and full on.

The directors pitched it just right. The characters were colourful and recognisable whilst the pace and energy never subsided. Musically the M.D. got hold of the score and extracted every bit of notation. The choreography captured the era, it had plenty of attack, and the company sets were energized and obviously very well-rehearsed.

Principal players, Lianne Lewis, brought fun to the role of Tracy and Rob Earl was every inch the joke shop entrepreneur, Wilbur. Steven Coles gave an effective performance as the plus-size wife and mother, Edna Turnblad: Steven has such stage presence.

The teen beat TV Show named after, and fronted by, Corny Collins, with the Nicest Kids, was well presented. Benjamin Stubbs, as Corny, delivered all the on camera facials and a smile you could see the “ting” flash coming off his teeth.

The TV shows teenage idle is Link Larkin who was given all the boyish charm by Sean Hargreaves. It was a convincing portrayal and Sean covered his numbers effortlessly.

Debbie Cornock presented a well observed characterisation as the Cruella De Vil of the piece, Velma Von Tussle, the wicked witch of the TV studio; she was ably supported by Beth Kerrigan, as Velma’s daughter, Amber.

Ejiro Melkam had all the vocal ability to deliver Motormouth Maybelle’s show stopping “I Know Where I’ve Been”.

From drool to cool is the path for Penny Lou Pingleton who was played by Rachel Clifford. This transformation comes about because she starts dating. Her boyfriend is Seaweed Stubbs, nicely portrayed by Jacob McIntosh: they were teenagers in love.

The strength of this show is reliant on the ensemble playing and this company proved that point. The company earned the response it received from a very enthusiastic audience.