Saturday, May 3, 2008

MAMA, I'M A BIG GIRL NOW: I'm all open to non-traditional casting, but because of injury the role of Tracy Turnblad in the national touring production of Hairspray is being played by an actress who is decidedly not plus-sized, having been cast originally for the role of "nine months!" Brenda.

I'm taking Lucy for the matinee today, and will update this post afterwards, presumably with experience-driven indignation.

e.t.a. 5:10 pm: Okay, more disappointment than indignation. This Tracy just got lost on the big stage, especially on "You Can't Stop The Beat". Because while the internal message of Hairspray is "anyone has the right to be a star," that's just as true as to what the show's external message to the kids in the audience is -- a girl who looks like Tracy Turnblad can be a Broadway star, which is very different from putting an actress who can't hit the lower in a not-fat-enough-fat-suit to make her look like Tracy Turnblad.

That said, the show's book is strong enough to survive this, and Lucy had a blast. One moment that I don't recall from the original -- at the end of "Timeless to Me," Wilbur and Edna traded off "You'll always be at home"/"Shabbat shalom!"/"You're timeless to me," at which point Wilbur said, "I didn't know you were Jewish" and Edna replied, "You can always tell," and then they both lost it laughing for about thirty seconds.

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