I just saw Hairspray at the Hollywood Bowl and it was super fun. For those normal people out there who don't obsess about musical theater, lemme give you a little run-down. The show takes place in the 60's when segregation was a hot topic. Basically there's a chubby girl named Tracy who everyone picks on, but she's a great dancer and she just wants a chance. There's a TV show with a host named Corny Collins that the popular high school kids dance in. Tracy wants to be on it more than anything. She is also hopelessly in love with the heartthrob Link Larkin. Link is dating the biggest bitch in town, Amber. Amber's mother is the show's producer and will do anything to win fame for her daughter. Miraculously, Tracy gets on the show (after a fair share of humiliation) and her and Link fall in love. Tracy decides to take a stand on integration and the adventure goes on from there. The show's a classic and I just love it so much. The Hollywood Bowl is a great venue for such a fun show as this.
My dad and I didn't have tickets and we went on a whim, hoping there would be some seats left in the 18,000 person capacity arena. We waited in line and ended up getting box seats! Sure, they were the last row to the side, but it was still awesome and a highly decent view. It was so strange, because I saw an incredible amount of people that I knew. My dad and I parked at Hollywood & Highland to avoid stacked parking and as we were waiting to pay the shuttle fare, the only person standing next to us happened to be the mother of my old friend from theater school. The friend and the dad were inside and we sat with them and talked the whole way up the hill. It was nice.
Inside, I saw a few younger students from YADA and a boy from a different acting group that I work with, ACT-1. Incidentally, one of my closest friend's sister was right behind me with her friend who also went to YADA. And then my best friend, Ethan, (who I already knew was coming) was in the same section as us, so I went and visited him a few times. It was all very surreal. I felt like a celebrity. Speaking of celebrities, Frankie and Joe Jonas were there to see their brother. I saw poor Frankie getting harassed by teenage girls for pictures. Poor kid.
The cast was so amazing. It was full of stars, old and new. They brought back some of the original Broadway actors, which was really cool. Harvey Fierstein was marvelous, of course. It's funny, because I really don't like listening to his voice on the soundtrack but it didn't matter in person. He was just hilarious. Not to mention, gorgeous in drag. It was such a treat to see Marissa Jaret Winokur as Tracy once again. It was closing night of the short Hollywood Bowl run and she was crying at the end. She will probably never play Tracy again. She had such an incredible amount of energy, I was in awe. Her voice had the perfect amount of annoying-ness for the part of Tracy. I loved it.
I was really excited to see Corbin Bleu as Seaweed. I think he is super talented and I heard that he was amazing in In the Heights. He is such an incredible dancer. I loved seeing him shake his groove thang. Drew Carey was adorable as Wilbur Turnblad. Carey and Fierstein's big number, "You're Timeless to Me", was hilarious and sweet. I was highly surprised with Nick Jonas as Link. I normally don't particularly enjoy his voice or music. I thought he was way out of his league as Marius in the 25th Anniversary Concert of Les Miserables. But he was born to be Link. It's a perfect part for him. His voice fit in perfectly with the character and his dancing was up to par with all the amazing ensemble dancer/singers. I was very pleased with his performance. It was pretty funny to hear the endless screams when he did his thing from all the fangirls. Diana DeGarmo was super funny as Penny. She also has a knockout voice. I loved her transformation for the ending. "I am now a checkerboard chick!" Susan Anton was perfect for Velma. Evil and classy at the same time. Darlene Love's voice is heaven-sent. She was perfection as Motormouth Maybelle. I love that part, and she sent shivers through me with her soulful rendition of "I Know Where I've Been". It was fun seeing John Stamos as Corny Collins. I wished they used more of him, though. He was just kinda there. But I still love him.
I think they used the stage and the bowl very well. The dome itself was constantly changing colors and it looked beautiful. The set was small, but efficient and adorable. Here are some crappy quality pictures I took with my phone.
Close-up of the set. You can see Tracy's collapsed bed on the ground waiting for her.
Rainbow Bowl for "Welcome to the 60's".
Cast grouped together for photos at the end.
I'm super happy I went, and I recommend getting a hand on any version of Hairspray you can and enjoying it. It's hilarious and I adore the music. Welcome to the 60's!