The Placer Performance Calendar


Great Local Shows - Theatrical Reviews

Title Hairspray
Organization Rocklin Community Theatre
Date(s) of show April 30 - May 15, 2016
Reviewer Sallee Kallenbach

Welcome to the Sixties! Tracy Turnblad is a pleasantly plump, hair-hopping Baltimore teenager with a longstanding dream to be a dancer on the local Corny Collins Show alongside her crush, the show's teen celebrity Link Larkin. Tracy's larger-than-life mother Edna and fun-loving father Wilbur encourage her to audition, advising her with “You gotta think big to be big.” After Tracy's foiled attempts to audition due to the show's restrictive appearance standards, she learns some sexy new dance steps in detention from her new friend Seaweed Stubbs, who inspires her to crash the show again. After finally winning a spot on the Corny Collins Show, Tracy starts a local revolution when she proclaims that she's going to integrate the show, creating both pandemonium and hilarity in this beat-driven, irrepressible shindig.

John Waters, the original writer and director of the 1988 film, would be proud. Even several days after witnessing opening night I just can't stop the beat of Rocklin Community Theatre's astounding production of Hairspray. Alexa Bellucci completely held her own in the title role of effervescent Tracy Turnblad and was a triple-threat pillar of expertise. The inimitable drag queen Divine made it a tradition to cast a man in the role of Tracy's mother Edna, and Bert Andersson fit the big dress superbly. Although it would take forever to name all the tremendous talent oozing out of this production, bear with me while I indulge a little. Luc Clopton's TV heartthrob Link Larkin was sultry and appealing, especially when he crooned “It Takes Two.” Carla Fleming's DJ and record store maven Motormouth Maybelle demonstrated grounded, rhyming wisdom as she filled the room with the catchy “Big, Blonde and Beautiful” and the heartrending “I Know Where I've Been.” Tarig Elsiddig's magnetic Seaweed exuded sensuality, especially with his very spicy rendition of “Run and Tell That” which he sang with his sister Little Inez, played by the sparkly Cayley Harper. Tracy's best friend Penny Pingleton, played by Melody Payne, was the consummate ubernerd, and her mother Prudy, played by Teresa Gold, was perfectly prudish. Ken Duisenburg was squeaky clean and camera ready as the TV host Corny Collins. Steve Gold as Tracy's father Wilbur was lovably whimsical. Velma Von Tussle and her daughter Amber, played by Tamra Rogers and Rachel Steinke respectively, flaunted the most peroxided villainy in the land. Loads of colorful characters filled this show, and every single one of these performers, from teen dancer to flasher to gym teacher, did an outstanding job.

Mike Mechanick's inventive and cunning direction blended exquisitely with Gino Platina's dazzling choreography, Kay Hight's powerful vocal direction and a spectacular live orchestra conducted by Chris Schlagel. Scenery, costumes, wigs and properties gave the production inspired early Sixties authenticity. It was indeed a nonstop merry-go-round of fast-moving scenes intertwined with catchy singing and dancing, interspersed with witty repartee, silly old TV commercials, heartbreaking newsreel coverage, clever props, scintillating costumes and well-balanced lighting and sound.

is worth much more than the price of admission and deserves a visit or three. Come on, forget your troubles and get up and dance to the beat of Rocklin Community Theatre's Hairspray!

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