“Hairspray” dazzles with a memorable performance


Hannah Stelitano

The week of January 3-8, the extremely talented cast of Hairspray took the stage at the Benedum Center in downtown Pittsburgh. From the acting, dancing, set, costumes, all the way to the pit orchestra, everything about the show was incredible. 

The show opened with the classic company number of “Good Morning Baltimore” and then went right into the TV Station WZZT & Turnblad Home Scene. This scene truly captivated the audience with engaging acting and upbeat dancing. Then the vanity scene is portrayed. This scene was most entertaining to me as it showed the perspective from all three girls and their mothers and then brought them all together at the end. The stage design and blocking of this scene were truly incredible, it really felt like the audience was a part of this story. 

Another part of the show that stuck out to me were all of the jail scenes. Again, the stage design and blocking of this were truly incredible as it actually felt like a jail, not a musical set. The scene when Link came to bail Tracy out and they escaped to the Motormouth Maybelle Record also grabbed my attention. The dancing and acting were truly engaging and really drew in the audience. 

Notable performances from the whole cast are certainly unforgettable, but especially from Niki Metcalf (Tracy Turnblad), Nick Cortazzo (Link Larkin), and Ryan Evers (Amber Von Tussle). Metcalf truly stood out to me as this show was her Broadway debut. Her singing, acting, and dancing made her appear as if she has been in this industry for years. Cortazzo caught my eye with his charming character. His singing was also incredible, but his dancing was extremely noticeable to me. Evers’ character was a perfect fit for her and this truly stuck out throughout the whole show.

Hairspray is unlike any other show as it is telling a story of the serious matters of discrimination during the sixties through upbeat singing and dancing. The juxtaposition between the two subjects is truly admirable after seeing how flawlessly the cast was able to convey this message.