CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – It's always a pleasure to view a Charleston Stage production at the Dock Street Theatre. This month, that pleasure is a hair raising production of Hairspray, the Broadway musical sensation which inaugurates Charleston Stage's 39th Season.
Fun and lighthearted with upbeat toe tappers like Nicest Kids in Town and You Can't Stop the Beat, the show also features a deep message about racial integration in 1960s Baltimore.
And a song about that issue is one of this production's highlights. Here are the other top 5 things we enjoyed most about the show that's currently rocking the Dock!
1 – Velma Von Tussle
While the leads were nothing short of entertaining, it was the supporting cast that had us ready to run and tell that.
We'll start with Velma, played brilliantly by actress Lara Allred. A member of Charleston Stage's Acting Company, Allred was featured in previously 5 Around Town reviewed shows Catch Me if You Can and Young Frankenstein. In this roll, though, she really shines as the producer of the Corny Collins Show and mother to Amber, Tracy Turnblad's rival for Miss Hairspray.
2 – I know Where I've Been with Motormouth Maybelle
In a new era of civil unrest, this Maybelle performed tune really hits home. With lyrics like, "there's a struggle, that we have yet to win" and "cause just to sit still would be a sin," the message is just as important and powerful today as it was 50 years ago. And Letty Clay's power packed delivery will blow you away.
3 – Wilbur Turnblad
Brian Porter has been with Charleston Stage for over five years, serving as Director of Administration, but we're glad to see that doesn't keep him from the stage. We found You're Timeless to Me to be one of the weaker moments in the 2007 film, but he and co-star Pen Chance had us smiling ear to ear as they soared across the stage in this number.
4 – Seaweed
Seaweed's love for Penny Pingleton knows no boundaries and our love for the character is just as strong, especially in this production. New York guest actor Jordan Barrow steps into the role with a joy and exuberance as high as the hair on his co-stars.
5- Penny Pingleton
And speaking of Penny, she's portrayed by Madeline Glenn Thomas, a second year member of the resident acting company. Previously, we saw Thomas as a Lady of Skid Row in Little Shop (which we bragged on back then) and we're so happy to see her progress into a featured role, especially one she plays so effervescently.