Regent Theatre, Melbourne
By Matthew Sheahan
The 2022 Australian production of Hairspray is one of the best things I’ve seen this year! From start to finish it’s just one big number after another. This show has been a favourite of mine for a long time and this production doesn’t disappoint, Shane Jacobson and Todd McKenney as Edna and Wilbur are an absolute riot and ‘Timeless to Me’ was a massive highlight. A barely recognisable Jacobson in full drag delivers with exquisite comic timing and displays his hidden singing talent with gusto.
McKenney all shows his impeccable comic skills and the two of them work off each other very well. Carmel Rodrigues is a star in the making in her musical debut as Tracy Turnblad showing the innocence and youth required for the role, Rhonda Burchmore is wonderfully wicked as Velma Von Tussle, musically my heart was racing through the whole show in big numbers like Welcome To The 60s, Run and Tell That and especially the big finale You Can’t Stop the Beat.
I mustn’t forget the heart wrenching performance of I Know Where I’ve Been, it’s stunning. The choreography is spectacular and highlights the show’s 1960s style, the ensemble really puts their dance skills on display. The production is also equipped with bright coloured costumes and sets that complete the extravagant theatrical experience.
About the Author
Matthew Sheahan is an active performer on the community theatre scene having performed in musical theatre for almost 20 years all over Melbourne. He is also a vocal coach and has also written and performed his own cabaret shows.
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