Hey, Hon, leave those dirty dishes in the “zinc,” “worsh” your face with some “wooter,” and drive on over to Toby’s Dinner Theatre to see their beehive hair-raising live musical production of Hairspray!
Adapted from the 1988 John Waters film, Hairspray revolves around a “pleasantly plump” teenager named Tracy Turnblad (played by Toby’s newcomer Christie Graham) who dreams of becoming famous and fights to racially integrate The Corny Collins Show in 1962 Baltimore.
If you haven’t seen Hairspray before or want to relive the magic again, then see Toby’s live musical production of ‘Hairspray’ before the beat stops this September!
Fans of the musical Hairspray will be pleased to know that on December 7, 2016, a live version, called Hairspray Live! will air on NBC, featuring the talents of Kristin Chenoweth, Harvey Fierstein, Jennifer Hudson, Martin Short, Derek Hough, Kenny Leon (director of The Wiz Live!) and Hairspray’s original Broadway choreographer Jerry Mitchell.
Even though it is nice to see a live musical on TV, nothing beats the magic of being seated in a darkened theatre, watching the actors perform before your very eyes! One of the best places around to watch live theatre is at Toby’s Dinner Theatre located in Columbia, Maryland. What is more, the food and service match the high quality of the productions.
This isn’t the first time Toby’s has produced Hairspray. This production features artists who have performed these roles before at Toby’s, as well as some new, fresh faces to spice things up.
Returning to the stage once again is Lawrence B. Munsey as Edna Turnblad, a mother and wife who is busy running a laundry business out of her home in Baltimore. Lawrence is one of those actors that I can always feel relaxed while watching because I can always count on him to give a good performance. He truly takes to heart Toby’s saying, “you are only as good as your last performance.” Mr. Munsey continues the tradition of this role being played by a man. With a female body suit and costumes by Mary Quinn and Mr. Munsey himself, he tastefully and gracefully plays this larger-than-life role.
Also returning to the stage in a role she played a few years back is another Toby’s regular, Heather Marie Beck. As the producer of The Corny Collins Show, Velma Von Tussle pushes her daughter, Amber (played by Gabriella DeLuca) to seek the stardom that she never had. In “Miss Baltimore Crabs,” Velma is auditioning new dancers for the show while bragging how she so cunningly clinched the title of Miss Baltimore Crab. Skipping school to attend the dance auditions, Tracy was quickly harassed by Velma for being “too short and stout.” Ms. Beck has proven that she can portray a wide range of roles. Seeing the comparison between her character as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors and Velma in Hairspray makes it clear that she is more than just a pretty face and voice.
Seemingly ageless, Jeffrey Shankle is outstanding as Corny Collins, the host of the teenage dance show called, quite appropriately, The Corny Collins Show.
Toby’s cast also includes David James as Wilbur Turnblad, owner of the Har-De-Har Hut Joke Shop; Sophie Schulman as the perky and dorky best friend of Tracy, Penny Pingleton; Justin Calhoun as the teenage heartthrob, Link Larkin who falls in love with Tracy; Kelli Blackwell reprises her role as the “big, blonde and beautiful” host of “Negro Day” on The Corny Collins Show, Motormouth Maybelle; Noelle Robinson as Little Inez, and Andre Hinds as Seaweed J. Stubs, the son of Motorbouth Maybelle who falls in love with Penny.
Director and Choreographer Mark Minnick maximizes all of the talent that is on the stage. Utilizing his upbeat and snappy choreography, the ensemble gives it their all in executing the intricate dances, sometimes running out of breath in all the excitement.
The hummable tunes by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (the same composer’s from TV’s hit show, SMASH) will leave you singing “You Can’t Stop the Beat” for at least three weeks after watching this show! Other memorable songs like “I Can Hear the Bells,” “Welcome to the 60’s,” “I Know Where I’ve Been, ” and “You’re Timeless to Me” come-to-life with the live 6 piece orchestra led by the talented Ross Scott Rawlings.
If you haven’t seen Hairspray before or want to relive the magic again, then see Toby’s live musical production of Hairspray before the beat stops this September!
Running Time: Approximately 2 hours 30 minutes, including one 20-minute intermission.
Hairspray plays through September 4, 2016 at Toby’s the Dinner Theatre of Columbia— 5900 Symphony Woods Road in Columbia, MD. Reservations are required at (301) 596-6161, (410) 730-8311, or 800-88TOBYS . For more information and tickets visit online.