Sunday, August 4, 2013

REVIEW: Hairspray by FACE Productions

It has come to a point that my review of the shows I have seen are so way overdue that I have no way of fully recovering from it. So here it is, I will just do a quick and more mini than mini review…

Hong Kong Cultural Centre Studio Theatre, Friday June 28

With amateur theatre, it can get away with a lot of things especially if the material is a musical, a comedy AND performed by young people. Such is the case of Hairspray. I first saw Hairspray in Broadway back in 2004. It was a good and fun musical; and one that at least try to be socially relevant even though that it was set in the 60's.

Overall, I like this production directed by FACE Artistic Director Vincent Warren and actually enjoyed it immensely. It was a very good and tight production for an amateur group. Most of the performers are awkwardly wonderful; and one can understand why each performer was given that certain role. Typical of an amateur production, it is difficult to find the "right" performer, one that can sing, dance, act AND look the part, especially in a story that involved racial distinction of black and white, but this production managed beautifully. Even the adult roles were appropriately cast and I particularly like the juxtaposition of a large Edna Turnblad (Bobby Burns) against a relatively small Wilbur Turnblad (Daniel Cheong).

Amongst the teenage roles, I particularly like Sophia Hotung's Penny Pingleton; her comedic timing was impeccable. Phraveen Arikiah's Seaweed J Stubbs was sleek and believable. Bianca Ka Ying Cheung (Tracy Turnblad), Tony Chun Yam Leung (Link Larkin) and Aisling McDonnell (Amber on Tussle) also turned in very good performances.

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