Saturday, July 28, 2007
Recent movie versions of Broadway shows have not really translated well to the screen with the exception of "Chicago". "Hairspray" does a terrific job of migrating from stage to screen, bursting off Broadway and into the streets of 1960's Baltimore. The songs and the choreography are first rate and the casting is absolutely perfect.
John Travolta, at first seemed an odd choice as Edna Turnblad but he makes the role his own and quickly disappears into the character. His singing and dancing skills still come through, even under tons of latex. Christopher Walken, Michele Pfeiffer, Queen Latifah, James Marstan, and Allison Janney are all just wonderful in their respective roles.
As the teenagers, Zac Efron, Amanda Bynes, Elijah Kelly, and Brittany Snow are all excellent. Stealing the film out from all these established stars, however, is Nicole Blonsky as Tracy Turnblad, the teenager who helps bring integration to Baltimore. Ms. Blonsky is a singing and dancing wonder who shows great promise for a long career in film or on stage.
"Hairspray" will have you smiling and tapping your feet from it's opening moments. It's a very enjoyable time at the movies and a lot cheaper than the Broadway show.