With so many brazen "must see!" and "can't miss!" declarations running rampant about everything from toothpaste to the new airlines these days, I hesitate to say the same. About anything.
If you are local, you MUST SEE, you absolutely CAN'T MISS, Hairspray at The Rep.
It was fantastic. I saw Evita last fall at The Rep, and thought it couldn't be topped. But it was topped. By some swingin' tunes and really, really high hair.
Lillian Castillo plays Tracy Turnblad with such heart and enthusiasm, you're rooting for her the minute she dances onto the stage. Tommaso Antico gives Link Larkin a hunky, lovable quality. Seaweed is a charmer, Edna is amazing, and Motormouth... well, she owned the stage.
Katie Emerson blew me away. Again. Last fall, she brought me to tears during her only solo in Evita- as the nameless Mistress. She gives Penny-Lou Pingleton a comedic earnestness that can't be easy to pull off. She is hilarious and heartfelt.
The best part? The Girl didn't move a muscle the entire time. She was enraptured. Occasionally she would lean over to me, or elbow me, and I'd see the biggest grin on her sweet little face. She loved it. She and I both went around singing, "Good morning, Baltimore!..." for days after the show.
And, for as much as I like watching that cute Zac Efron in the movie version, there is something about watching the show live that makes you... feel it.
Hairspray from Arkansas Repertory Theatre on Vimeo.
The cast was so animated, so ebullient, so incredibly on it, that the audience could not help but to join in the joy.
There are only two more weeks of the show. The run ends May 8th. You still have plenty of time to buy tickets. Early Mother's Day? End of School Celebration? Because It's Tuesday? You don't really need a reason. Buy the tickets. You will be so pleased, and I will say "I told you so."
Hey, Mama. Welcome to the 60's.
*The Rep gave me 3 tickets to see Hairspray. They also allowed me to give away 2 tickets here on the blog. The rave reviews here are totally my own.