HAIRSPRAY – The Broadway Musical

Founders Theatre, Hamilton

22/02/2013 - 09/03/2013

Production Details

You can’t stop the beat! 

It’s 1962, and pleasantly plump Baltimore teen Tracy Turnblad has only one desire: to dance on the popular Corny Collins Show. When her dream comes true, Tracy is transformed from social outcast to sudden star, but she must use her newfound power to vanquish the reigning Teen Queen, win the affections of heartthrob Link Larkin and integrate a TV network – all without denting her ‘do!

Don’t miss HAIRSPRAY, Broadway’s musical-comedy phenomenon that inspired a major motion picture and won eight 2003 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. As The New York Times says, “If life were everything it should be, it would be more like HAIRSPRAY. It’s irresistible!”

Live comedy doesn’t get any bigger than this!

Founders Theatre – Tristram Street, Hamilton
Fri 22 February – Saturday 9 March, 7.30pm
Matinees Sat 24 Feb, 2 Mar, 9 Mar, 2pm

Door Sales available 1 hour prior to performance
Full bar facilities available
The performance is approx. 2.5 hours including 20min interval

Premium Reserve
Adults: $59.90 | Student / Child (up to 14 yrs): $49.90 | Concession (Seniors 65+): $54.90 | Family Ticket: 2 Adults, 3 Children (up to 14 yrs) $219.90
‘A’ Reserve
Adults: $49.90 | Student / Child (up to 14 yrs): $39.90 | Concession (Seniors 65+): $44.90 | Family Ticket: 2 Adults, 3 Children (up to 14 yrs) $169.90
‘B’ Reserve
Adults: $39.90 | Student / Child (up to 14 yrs): $29.90 | Concession (Seniors 65+): $34.90
plus applicable Ticketek service fees.

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Group discounts apply for groups of 20 or more – please phone Ticketek Group Bookings on (09) 307 5058  

Edna:  Roy Snow
Tracy:  Courteney Mayall
Amber:  Cassidy Garrett
Velma:  Lisa Wiles
Corney Collins :  Nick Wilkinson
Wilbur:  Mike Scanlon
Penny:  Ruby Lyon
Link:  Henry Ashby
Little Inez:  Jessica Lazarus
Motormouth:  Awhimai Huka
Seaweed:  Joel Hewlett
Female Authority:  Mandy Faulkner
Male Authority:  Tim Pollock
Judine:  Sabrina Van Saarloos
Kamilah:  Samantha Elkington
Shayna:  Liza Kire
Tammy:  Alana Wells
Brad:  Mike Sorensen
Brenda:  Kate Ritchie-Lawless
Fender:  Sam Gordon
IQ:  Charlie Verberne
Louann:  Michaela Cairns
Shelley:  Madeline Carpenter
Sketch:  Hamish Davies
Sue:  Gwen Lyon
Joey:  Michael Barns
Cameramen:  Glen Stanbridge, Taniora Robinson
Cindy Watkins :  Lizzy Burn
Duane:  Alexander Pelham-Waerea
Gilbert:  Rolande Loughlin
Lorraine:  Danielle Taipari
Stooie:  John Bembo
Thad:  Bernard de Vega
White Ensemble:  Philippa Chesham, Amy Rudduck, Alexis Holmes
Black Ensemble:  Jodie Jacobs, Jayne Delcarme, Remy Garrett
Backing Vocalists:  Georgina Hewitt, Elise Young, Megan Goldsman, Wendy Rowe, Kelly Donaldson, Zachery Stokes, Gayle Williams, Zanskar Ianusi, Dane Moeke, Blair Stanbridge, Kristie Krekow, Lydia Hall  

Irresistibly upbeat

Review by Gail Pittaway 24th Feb 2013

Light, bright and boldly colourful, this treatment of teen life in Baltimore in the 1960s and of Tracy Turnblad’s optimism in achieving her goal is simply gorgeous. Every part of the production is tight and crisp, from the wonderful cast, to the exceptional dancing (thanks to Sonja McGirr-Garret and Joel Benjamin Hewlett) and on to the whacky sets and effective LED screen as back-drop, displaying cartoon images reminiscent of the early days of watching black and white TV.

David Sidwell’s expert direction runs the piece at a fast pace, while managing to bring out nuances of humour in the book and the lyrics that can surprise. In fact the timing of movement, lines and gesture are flawless in this production. Although set in 1960 and the time of racial segregation and with a genuine message of hope for an end to prejudice against differences of size and colour, the story retains a simplicity and optimism that works, for its very levity.

This irresistibly upbeat show is given a high-tech production thanks to a consortium of music theatre practitioners in New Zealand who collectively share the sets and costumes for touring shows. The Hairspray neon dress set for the last act is fabulous, as is the simple jail fly of asymmetrical bars, more like a veranda railing from the era. The plastic world of the TV studio, of the Corny Collin’s Show, the teen bedrooms and Motor Mouth records are all suitably bright, with simple cartoon-like camera and props, all reminding us that this is fun, not real; but also that things like prejudice can be seen as just a bit silly, too.

Courtney Mayall holds the role of heroine Tracy and the core of the story with sweetness but more than a hint of body in that voice, projecting an energetic and sustained reading of the character. Her best friend, Penny Pinkleton ( Ruby Lyon), is equally appealing in her big glasses and bubble gum, as both girls move from ‘not’ to hot’.  

Awhimai Huka as Motormouth Mabel gives a spine-tingling rendition of blues number “I know where I’ve been”, backed by velvet-voiced Dane Moeke from New Zealand’s Got Talent . Mabel iscountered by an equally impressive performance from Lisa Wiles as Velma Von Tussle, the villainess.

Other stand outs in this production full of them are Roy Snow and Mike Murphy Scanlon as Tracy’s parents, Wilbur and Edna, adorably deplorable in their taste, triumphant in their love; Joel Benjamin Hewlett as Seaweed, whose hips seem made of material other than bone, they are so sinuous and busy! Then there are Corny (a suave Nick Wilkinson) and his dancers, including the hysterical Amber (Cassidy Garret) and heart-throb Link Larkin (Henry Ashby), and the black ensemble including a fabulous girl trio the Dynamites, straight out of Tamla-Motown. Finally, filling in all the parts of male and female authorities, mostly for laughs, are Tim Pollock and Mandy Faulkner.

As a musical this would be nothing without a tight orchestra and Victoria Brown conducts the small band expertly, from behind the screens onstage. Regardless of technology and sets shared with other companies, it all had to be assembled, adapted and tested. Hamilton Operatic Society should be proud of the team of musicians, dancers, actors, singers, choreographers, technicians and designers who have had to work together with David Sidwell to bring this joyful show to life.


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