Big hair, big fun
You’ve got to think big to be big, and that’s just what Runaway Stage has done with its production of Hairspray, a Sacramento community musical premiere that teaches us that both big and black are beautiful. With direction from Bob Baxter, featuring a live orchestra led by Christopher Cook, Monica Wright shines as Tracy Turnblad, a plus-sized teenage girl with even more plus-sized aspirations of dancing on TV alongside her dream boy Link (James Shimp), all while learning new moves and fighting to integrate the show with detention pal Seaweed (played with slick moves by Richard Newman). There’s quirky enjoyment brought from the whole cast, with a wonderful showing from Brent Null and Randy Costa as Tracy’s odd but perfectly paired parents, Elysse Fountain as Tracy’s friend with a newfound taste for “chocolate” skin, and Jennifer Schmelzer and Amy Jacques-Jones as the mother-daughter beauty queen duo with acne-ridden souls. Don’t let the minor aerosol encroachment on the ozone deter you from this one.