California Musical Theatre’s Broadway Series welcomes Hairspray to the Sacramento Community Center through Sunday. This production is big fun, with a bevy of bouffant hairdos and cool ’60s kitsch all mixed together with sly tweaks at society.
It’s the early ’60s in Baltimore and zaftig teen Tracy Turnblad is enamored with The Corny Collins Show, the local TV dance program. She wants to be a dance regular, and has everything the sponsors are looking for—talent, enthusiasm and moxie. She also has a full figure, which is a no-no with the in-crowd.
What makes Hairspray so endearing is its willingness to take on big battles in a fun way. Through sheer force of personality, Tracy wants to integrate the dance club, bring in black music and dancers, bridge the generation gap and fight fat phobia. We’re cheering her on all the way.
The songs are clever and catchy, and the cast lends endless energy and talent to the show. Keala Settle is a terrific Tracy. You find yourself rooting for her as much as her character, since her success on a Broadway stage mirrors the storyline. The sweet, uniquely romantic pairing of John Pinette and Stephen DeRosa as Edna and Wilbur Turnblad is an added extra.