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An eternally optimistic teen with a passion for dance takes on inequality in 1960s Baltimore. The Tony Award-winning musical, Hairspray, deals with issues even bigger than the hairdos sported by the cast. Racism, segregation, obesity and prejudice are just a few of the big ones. The peppy show, with its unexpected serious side, teaches the crowd an important lesson in self-confidence.

The support cast is filled with gems. Marty McNamee as Corny Collins, Carly Vernon as Penny, Angela Birchett as Motormouth Mabelle, Jarvis B. Manning Jr. as Seaweed, Karen Pappas in all her roles. Each one adds spice to the show; Birchett with her powerful voice, Vernon’s na├»ve sincerity, Collins’ Seacrest-like chirper attitude, Manning’s dance moves, and Pappas’ combination of physical comedy and perfect delivery.

The absolute highlight of the show is Tracy's parents. Dan Dowling Jr. plays as Edna, a big, but shy woman and John Vessels is her devoted husband. Edna is a role traditionally played by a man (John Travolta in the most recent film version), and this production is no exception. Their duet, "You're Timeless to Me" is both sweet and hilarious.

Along with mountains of wigs, the show has some adult humor not suitable for kids. The message in the end though is one of accepting people as they are, despite the color of their skin or the size of the clothes. It’s a message that’s important no matter what decade we’re in and one that fun to learn while watching the characters dance through the show.

Don't Miss the Show

Performances: The show runs until March 27. Doors open for evening performances at 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The buffet is served from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. For Wednesday matinees doors open at 11:30 a.m. and the buffet is served from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The show begins at 1 p.m. For Sunday matinees doors open at 12 p.m. and the buffet is served from 12:15 to 1 p.m. The show begins at 1:30 p.m. 

Tickets: To purchase tickets call (317) 872-9664 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Prices range from $35 to $58 and include the show, tax, coffee, tea and the buffet. This production offers discounts; call the box office for more details.

Photos Courtesy of Beef & Boards Dinner Theater