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5 Hair-Raising Reasons to See Hairspray

Summer Theatre of New Canaan’s Production is a Hit

Rebecca Spigelman (Tracy Turnblad) in Summer Theatre of New Canaan’s production of HAIRSPRAY at Waveny Park, New Canaan CT

I have to admit that, due to my lack of knowledge of the Summer Theatre of New Canaan, I was very skeptical of its production of the Broadway hit Hairspray. I was expecting a sweet, mildly entertaining presentation of the upbeat musical, but boy was I in for a pleasant surprise. The show follows 1960’s high-schooler Tracy Turnblad and her friends in a melodic quest, both to achieve her dancing dreams and to integrate teen TV hit the Corny Collins Show. Here are 5 reasons to check it out:

1. The Location: The Summer Theatre of New Canaan’s stage is located right next to New Canaan High School’s Dunning Stadium, which is conveniently near the heart of town and also offers more than enough on-site parking. Surrounded by athletic fields, the area would be a great spot for a pre-show picnic dinner, making the night perfect for a date or family event!

2. The Music: Many may be familiar with the songs of Hairspray from the Broadway original or the recent movie version, and the Summer Theatre does not disappoint. The cast delivers (for the most part) powerful vocals, among which the silly “I Can Hear the Bells” and the full-ensemble “Welcome To the 60’s” were my personal favorites.

3. The Dodgeball Scene: This scene deserves a shout out because it was probably the one that made me laugh the most. It is well choreographed and acted, and supporting actress KeLeen Snowgren is Saturday Night Live worthy (she plays several female roles that deserve to be highlighted)!

4. Performances: The cast could not have had more energy, and it made all the difference. Rebecca Spigelman executes as Tracy, and while her singing is excellent, it is her likeability and humor (especially around love interest Link Larkin, played by Nick Pankuch) that shine. Not to be missed is her hysterical sidekick Penny Pingleton, played flawlessly by Sharon Malane, and Greg London as Tracy’s mother Edna, who was reminiscent of Modern Family’s Cameron and provides plenty of laughs himself.

5. The Message: Perhaps a corny (no pun intended) reason to see Hairspray, but nonetheless a valid reason. The musical is a feel good story of love, friendship, and the power of standing by your dreams and beliefs. It drives home that passion and greatness can come from anyone, regardless of their background or what they look like, and it was hard not to notice the entire audience walking out in smiles, myself included.

This rendition of Hairspray is nothing short of an astoundingly energetic journey filled with hilarious performances, uplifting messages, and musical/dance numbers that will have you on iTunes as soon as you get home. This is a show you can’t miss this summer!

Until August 3 at the Summer Theatre of New Canaan

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