In 1988, the great late John Waters gave us the campy cult classic movie called “Hairspray”! Ricki Lake, Sonny Bono, Debbie Harry and Divine! It was the most fun at the movies in the 80’s! It became a Broadway musical written by those White Way wizards, Mark Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
They had the vision to cast the incomparable Harvey Fierstein as “Edna Turnblad” and the show became a sensation from 2002-2009. A remake of the movie came in 2007 with John Travolta taking a spin as “Edna” and Christopher Walken as “Wilbur”. The remake was a critical and financial success. That’s nice but…
“Hairspray” is best seen LIVE! The American Stage Theatre in St. Pete is currently doing their 32nd annual “Live in the Park” series and their production of “Hairspray” is top notch! Based on the original John Waters film and music from the Broadway show, it is a perfect storm of campy fun and classic tunes. A cast of over twenty-five actors and a set that is Broadway worthy, it brings “Hairspray” alive at its best! Sound, lighting and costumes are perfect. American Stage shows professionalism all the way.
Allyson Pace from New York City, has played teenager “Tracy Turnblad”, in several productions and is a fun, energetic Tracy. Scott Daniel as “Corny Collins” who is part of the local Tampa Bay “Scott and Patti” show makes a grand Corny with his flashy suits and toothy grin. Matt McGee, named Best Local Drag performer and Best Local Stage Performer by Creative Loafing Tampa, steals the show with the part of “Edna Turnblad” that he channels with perfection! The entire cast is stellar and this is a perfect show to come on a first date, bring the whole family or just hang with your friends and have a blast. You can buy a “Tracy Turnblad” wig and some confetti to throw for the big finale! Fun is the name of the game here!
At the scenic downtown St. Pete waterfront “Demens Landing” next the Dali Museum and Mahaffey Theatre, it is a wonderfully relaxing and fun evening. The show is running through May 14th, Wednesday – Sunday. Monday and Tuesday are dark. You can buy seats or you can bring a blanket or chair and a picnic for the evening. Don’t miss out on this great event!
Tickets range from $18-$38 at www.americanstage.org
photos by Vicky Sullivan / Rock the Lens Photography