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  • Writer's pictureKimberly Laberge

Sunset welcomes the 60s!

The hairdos are stiff, and the performance is anything but! Hairspray brings a clever balance of high-energy dance numbers, tongue-in-cheek humor, and social justice to Sunset Playhouse's Furlan Auditorium through August 11th.

The company of Hairspray.

Hairspray follows Tracy Turnblad, a plus-sized girl with a larger than life personality, as she pursues her dreams of dancing as one of the "Nicest Kids in Town" on Corny Collins' local television show (and maybe even getting some cheek-to-cheek and pants-to-pants time with the dreamy Link Larkin). As an open ally to the immigration movement, Tracy ruffles producer feathers while shaking her own. Her tale blossoms into an inspiring story about embracing your identity, loving your life, and standing up for what's right.

The company of Hairspray.

Choreographer Reginald T. Kurschner captures the teenage trends of the era with remarkable pizazz. From the doo-wop stylings on the TV set to the sassy tap during "The Big Dollhouse", Kurschner keeps each moment fresh and distinctly different from the last.

Emma Borkowski.

Emma Borkowski (as Tracy) drives the show with her pop vocal stylings and infectious positivity. Borkowski is such a ray of sunshine onstage that it's no wonder when Tracy breaks down barriers and expectations one by one.

Daniel Persino, Hope Riesterer, Brad Skonecki, Emma Borkowski, and company.

Borkowski is well-matched by the Elvis-wannabe Link Larkin, played by Daniel Persino. The role, popularized by Zac Efron in the 2007 movie, typically takes the backseat to the flamboyancy of fellow castmates. Persino, however, elevates the character to a comic delight. His expressiveness is second to none as the teenage heartthrob finds himself leaving his vanilla lifestyle for unexpected excitement.

Following the Skylight Music Theatre's critically acclaimed Hairspray production from this last spring, Sunset had some pretty large shoes to fill in the community. Director L. Tommy Lueck handles the challenge expertly. His execution maintains the kitsch factor that audiences love about the story, while bringing in some brilliant new interpretations that take the performance to the next level. Hairspray is, undeniably, a true hit.


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