Beat never stops in slick, energetic show

Last updated 10:37 27/02/2013
Hairspray
Bruce Mercer/Fairfax NZ

Light and bubbly: A dress rehearsal.

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REVIEW: What: Hamilton Operatic Society: Hairspray

When: From Friday, February 22

Where: Founders Theatre

Director: David Sidwell

Reviewer: Andrew Buchanan-Smart

Wow, if you go to only one show this year, this should be it. From the opening song and dance scene Good Morning, Baltimore to the finale You Can't Stop The Beat, the beat did not stop.

Hairspray, set in the early 60s, is cleverly crafted with a powerful message lying beneath the surface of song and dance.

The message is as meaningful today as it was then, with the wonderfully comic elements and one-liners taking the sting out of the politics.

Hairspray is slick and fast, full of vitality, and infectious with pulsating energy. A show like this only works with attention to detail which begins at the production stage, building the right creative team and casting correctly.

The set design, lighting, costumes - which were stunning - and especially the choreography, combined to make a stunning show.

Integral to this was superb casting with Roy Snow as Edna, Tracy's loving mother; Courtney Mayall as the positive Tracy; Mike Murphy-Scanlon as supportive Wilbur; Nick Wilkinson as cheesy Corny; Joel Benjamin-Hewlett as mover and shaker Seaweed; Lisa Wiles as feisty and vain Velma; Ruby Lyon as loyal Penny; Awhimai Huka as the visionary Motormouth; Cassidy Garrett as catty Amber; and Henry Ashby as the ever-faithful Link. They all captured the stereotypical details of these characters.

The singing was strong throughout, with the backing vocals and solos in perfect sync. The ensemble was always strong and the dance routines tight and full of energy.

These guys know how to move!

A fantastic show, light and bubbly, fast and powerful - a real quality product which is a must-see. Accolades all round for this great family entertainment.

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- Waikato

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