January 26, 2011

Feb 3-March 27
Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre

One of the big advantages to the Indy regional premiere of the very fun, very tuneful Broadway musical? It won’t have John Travolta in it.
Travolta’s self-indulgent performance is what kept the movie version of “Hairspray” from being as much fun as the stage musical. I can see the cross-dressing lure of playing Edna Turnblad (the role made famous in the original film by Divine and taken on stage by Harvey Fierstein). But Travolta missed the heart and played the gimmick.
Make no mistake about it: This is a show with a lot of heart. And it should come through not just in the main plot of spunky teen Tracy and her efforts to integrate a TV dance show but also in the loving relationship between her goofball parents. Here, Beef & Boards newcomer Dan Dowling Jr., who recently played the part in Boston, will be playing Edna, with B&B clutch hitter John Vessels as husband Wilbur. Details here.