Review: Hairspray, Scarborough Musicals, YMCA Theatre

Cast of Hairspray
Cast of Hairspray

This was a change of style for Scarborough Musicals – and how well it wore it.

Rodgers and Hammerstein is its stock-in-trade – but full houses all week proved that audiences, too, like a change.

The subject matter – racism and sexism – as well as the music took the actors and audience out of the comfort zone of boy meets girl.

Hairspray is part of the modern musical canon but in a nutshell it is about an overweight teenager Tracy Turnblad who takes on a TV station in her bid to win a dance competition – and equality for her African-American neighbours.

It gave younger members of the company chance to shine – bring on Kaya Hutchinson as Tracy, Mike Seals-Law as love interest Link Larkin, Pippa Mundey as catty rival Amber Van Tussle and Cara Hitchins as cute as a button Penny Pingleton.

New to the company was Jessica Gardham as Motormouth Maybelle and Justin Mhaka as Seaweed. They were ably supported by the ‘usual suspects’ Robin Newman, Dave Blaker and the chorus members.

Paul Buttner was fantastic as Tracy’s mum Edna – the duet with husband Wilbur (George Williams) was a stand-out delight.

Exuberance and enthusiasm reigned from the opening number Good Morning Baltimore to the closing to You Can’t Stop the Beat – and you certainly could not.

Review: Sue Wilkinson