Saturday, April 29, 2006

Good Morning Baltimore

I've wanted to see Hairspray for awhile, and I was excited that it was coming to Las Vegas, however, I wasn't in a hurry since now it was going to be here for at least a year.

This past Friday night in the mail there was one of those Vegas magazines and as I was skimming through it and saw the ad for Hairspray, notice a little important detail: Harvey Fierstein was playing EdnaTurnblad for the first 12 weeks. I remembered it opened here in Jan/Feb... it's April... SHIT! I immediately called and this is his last weekend. He originated the role as well as won a Tony for it. Now there was an immediate want to see it.

I scored front row seats!!! And I am really happy that I saw it with Fierstein because his love song with Dick Latessa, "Timeless to Me" was not only a crowd favorite, but one of mine. The one minor complaint I have is that the orchestra was hidden until the end. I like to see them under the stage as a reminder that this live music, not Bose. Also, the staging I thought was a little off, as I could see many parts where many of the actors were obscured if one was sitting on the sides. (I noticed audience members leaning on each other to look)

But those minor points aside, I totally recommend it. I think the best compliment I could give it is I liked the music more than Mammia Mia! and considering I walked into Mamma Mia knowing all the words, versus Hairspray where I didn't know any... I remember an old Jewish named Yetta Zaslower who after seeing Les Miserables said, "eh but could you walk away whistling one of the tunes? Fiddler on The Roof, now that was a show with some songs." Hairspray is like that. I still have the opening number "Good Morning Baltimore" and the closer, "You Can't Stop the Beat" in a continual loop in my head. I know how songs stick to me, but I wonder what it must be like performing in a or working on a musical... can they turn it off at the end of the day or are they constantly mumbling the show's tune no matter where?

The actress playing Tracy was adorable, the cute actor playing Link was both cheesy and vulnerable (that's a hard combo to master), though WHN pointed out that he falls into my "type" of tall, thin, blonde, effeminate looking. (WHN always says it like that's not a good thing.)

The one thing that I don't like about sitting so close to the stage is seeing the mikes that they wear on their foreheads. They all look like they are wearing some weird cult symbol. When the hairspray is sprayed, I think UT OH gas, to make us believe. Or when they shot out confetti, I thought of propaganda bombs. But on the otherside, if you want to feel like you are really getting your money's worth, the front rows let you see the beads of sweat on the actors' faces.

One of the main messages of Hairspray is even a short chubby girl can find acceptance. However, while I was in the gift shop, I noticed a short chubby girl looking through all the tiny tanks and baby-t's trying to find a shirt that could fit her. I thought that ironic.

And if you see a show in Vegas versus LA or NY, you get added touches like wedding parties in full dress sitting next to people in t-shirts, shorts, and fanny packs. And let me not forget that I won $20 on quarter slots. Finally, when I was walking out to the walkway to the garage, Carrot Top was walking in with a sack of his props. Take that Broadway.


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