"Hairspray" at Workshop Theatre

photo of the outside of Workshop Theatre by Mikelle Street
“Momma-I’m a Big Girl Now” by the original cast of Hairspray

Last night I went to the Workshop Theatre to see their sold out production of “Hairspray: The Broadway Musical” sponsored by the AIDS Benefit Foundaiton of South Caorlina. Having never actually been to Workshop Theatre, I found myself attracted to the small intimate cortyard and even alleyway surrounding the entrance. Since I’m not a fancy cool photographer, I had no clue how to shoot the space(alot of trees=alot of shade and I hate the flash) but I did try.
Anyway the production was a powerful one. It was set up as a sort of immersive performance with actors milling through the aisles and coming throgh back entrances to the theatre before making their way to the front stage. For those familiar with the recent movie Hairspray, while similar, the plot wasn’t exactly the same. One of my favorite numbers of the movie, “New Girl in Town,” wasn’t found in the production but instead there was ” Mama-I’m a Big Girl Now” performed by the three mother/daughter duos. For those unfamiliar with the movie, the plot is based on Tracy Turnblad who plays played by a talented Jennifer Morse, who fights for the rights of her African-American cohorts while herself being ridiculed for her weight.
The strongest numbers seemed to come from Miss Motormouth Maybelle herself, played by Michelle Nicole Rivera. Rivera’s voice held a strength, vigor, and maturity that seemed to outshine the rest of the cast. “I Know Where I’ve Been” was undoubtedly the strongest number, led by Rivera with the accompaniment of the ensemble. The resulting applause was resounding.

Hairspray will run at Workshop Theatre until June 4th with showtimes at 8.

The production will pick back up on June 8th and run till the 11th.

Call and reserve tickets because they sel out quickly.