Last Saturday night I made a last minute decision to go and see Hairspray and let me tell you it was the best decision I made the entire day. For those of you who are not familiar with the storyline click here . Hairspay is filled with campy dialogue and musical numbers and I loved every minute of it! I've never seen the original movie starring Ricki Lake as Tracy Turnblad so I was able to enjoy every minute of the film without comparing the two.
Nikki Blonsky who plays the lead role of Tracy in the current film is a star in the making. She commands the screen from the first line of the opening song "Goodmorning Baltimore" and reels the audience in with her surprisingly "soulful" dancing ability. Rounding out the cast are stellar performances from Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, and Amanda Bynes. But besides Nikki'sperformance as Tracy the actors that really stood out for me were John Travolta as Edna Turnblad, Queen Latifah as Motormouth Maybelle, and newcomer Elijah Kelley as Seaweed.
Many people in the LGBT community have objected to Travolta playing the role of Edna Turnblad because of his affiliation with Scientology and the belief that he's homophobic despite having to dress in drag for this role. Well I was able to put the politics aside for two hours and enjoy his performance because he was actually quite convincing as the overweight homebody Edna. Queen Latifah turns in another great performance as Motormouth Maybelle and grabs the opportunity to show off her vocal skills in a gut wrenching gospel number that turns out to be one of the only serious moments in this light-hearted film.
But the person that almost steals the film is sexy newcomer Elijah Kelley as Seaweed. This man has a voice that will tear the roof off of any broadway theater and the charisma to make any woman or man swoon. In the few minutes that it takes him to sing his showstopping number "Run and Tell That" he manages to leave a lasting impression as someone to look out for. His role is also being played by Tevin Campbell in the broadway compan(pictured above).
Normally most reviews have at least one negative thing to say about the production but I honestly cannot find any fault in this movie, there was never a dull moment. Kudos to Adam Shankman for the direction and choreography, and also to my friend and Montgomery native Stephen Boss who appears as one of the dancers (pictured above on the left of Queen Latifah). Hairspray is definitely the feel good movie of the summer and one that I will own on dvd. Run and don't walk to see it!