I never thought Hairspray could disappoint. It has all the ingredients for greatness: a positive message, unique characters, catchy tunes, bright colors… Today, though, the performance I witnessed was simply mediocre.
Ok, to be fair, the singers sang mostly the right notes. And yeah, they knew their lines and dance moves. The makeup and costumes were appropriate. We could almost always hear the singing over the musicians. Nearly all the actors stayed in character. Things were, on the whole, watch-able.
The theatre was cute, quaint. It was big enough to give the appearance of grandeur but small enough for audience members to see everything.
So, what did I see? I saw actors -not characters- going through the motion of the ocean, but there was no sun in the sky. Or rather, no sun in the eye. I scoured the stage for life and soul in the actors’ eyes and found them both to be completely lacking. Therein lies the flop: there was no magic.
No one else in the audience seemed to notice. The show received a standing ovation.