Wednesday, August 1, 2007


There's only one word for Director Adam Shankman's HAIRSPRAY -- BIG.

Big Hair -- lots of daring 'dos
Big Stars -- Travolta is Divine
Big Dance Numbers -- the choreography makes a bigger splash than Shamu
Big Music -- a phantasmagorical musical with good, good vibrations
Big Buns -- a robust rump roasting of '60s pop culture

Take my word for it, HAIRSPRAY is this summer's undisputed supersize hit.

"'Detroit sound?' What's that? The cries of people being mugged?" -- Velma Von Tussle

Yes, the dialogue is a breath of fresh aerosol, the art direction has more eye-popping pizzazz than a plethora of Parziale's pizzas and the couture is haute, hot and heavenly. (Take a hint, Hillary.)

And talk about a terrific cast...

John Travolta plays the mom -- Edna Turnblad. Newcomer Nikki Blonsky plays her daughter, Tracy. Christopher Walken is Wilbur Turnblad, the father. Other marvelous cast members include Jerry Stiller, Amanda Bynes, Brittany Snow, Elijah Kelley, Taylor Parks and the aforementioned slinky, sexy Michelle Pfeiffer as Velma Von Tussle, a past Miss Baltimore Crabs crown-holder who almost steals the show.

Police Chief: "I doubt she'll risk jail to win some beauty pagent."
Velma Von Tussle: "I risked communicable diseases. She'll risk jail."

Miss Baltimore Crabs, indeed.

There's also John Waters as the "Flasher" and Ricki Lake as a Wm. Morris Talent Agent. Their appearance is a fitting tribute to the original 1988 film.

If GREASE is "The Word," then HAIRSPRAY is "Gospel." It's the Bible of buffant, bouncy, bubbly, backlash Baltimore. HAIRSPRAY harkens us back to a time and place when society may have been a mess, but the hair was perfect and the girls really knew how to tease.

(Any review for HAIRSPRAY that does not include this wonderful photograph of Christopher Walken ain't worth jack. Who could possibly disagree?)