Hairspray is an uplifting brush with the ’60s

By Jane Muller

There is a risk in presenting a musical based on an extremely popular film with stars in that are imprinted on the major roles. Drayton Entertainment can brush off any concern that its production would not measure up to the original “Hairspray”.

Presented at the newly renamed Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge until April 8, “Hairspray” tells an uplifting story punctuated with up-tempo dance routines and upbeat tunes that look and sound like the ‘60s. The social commentary and message of inclusiveness carries a timely message for audiences in 2018.

Hairspray tells the story of pleasantly plump heroine Tracy Turnblad, who dreams of dancing on The Corny Collins Show, a popular prime-time television program in 1960s Baltimore. Against all odds, Tracy wins a coveted spot on the dance show, and overnight is transformed from social outcast to irrepressible teen celebrity. She soon falls head-over-heels for the handsome male star, Link Larkin, the boyfriend of teen queen Amber Von Tussle. But can this loveable plus-size trendsetter vanquish the program’s reigning princess, win the heart of the heartthrob, and integrate a television show, all without denting her ‘do?”

In typical Drayton Entertainment style, the talented cast carries off the show with an energy that boosts the spirit. Opening night of this season opening production was a success with many heart-warming and hilarious moments. Especially funny are Tracy’s parents Edna and Wilbur played by Wade Lynch and Larry Mannell. Their opening night adlibs were classic.

Stephanie Pitsiladis is stellar at Tracy and well-supported by the other artists. Keisha T. Fraser belts out some memorable ballads as Motormouth Maybelle, Hailey Lewis is awesome playing the youngster Little Inez and Jackie Mustakas rocks the role of the evil Velma Von Tussle.

For more details and ticket information go to www.draytonentertainment.com