Hairspray the Musical | Candlelight Dinner Playhouse

play hairspray_smWalton’s voice carried through the theater with power, and her connections with the audience and her character were immediate.



play hairspray

On January 15, the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse in Johnstown, Colo., opened Hairspray the Musical with gusto. The theater itself is rather strangely placed and hidden away from main roads, but when you happen upon it, the beautiful building gives you a warm and cozy feeling. The servers were attentive, friendly, and very efficient while delivering delicious food from the busy kitchen. During intermission, the cast came out onto the floor to serve and greet guests in costume, which was also delightful.

Act One opened up with a terrific solo from the very talented Bailey Peyton Walton, who played Tracy Turnblad, singing “Good Morning Baltimore” along with the Company. Her voice carried through the theater with power, and her connections with the audience and her character were immediate. The set was creatively built for the stage, which was small in comparison to some other local theaters, but the crew and designers definitely made every bit of space worthwhile. Another showstopper in the first act had to be the solo of Alicia Dunfee, giving a killer performance singing “Miss Baltimore Crabs” as Velma Von Tussle.

Act Two, in my opinion, shined a light directly on Lisa Young, playing the motivating character of Motormouth Maybelle in her solo, “I Know Where I’ve Been.” Her smooth, powerful voice carried the audience back through a long history as she sung about the change that her character has seen and longed to see more of.

Of course, there are always one or two hiccups in live theater, especially on opening night. It was explained to me that there is an odd spot on stage that is a dead zone for mics, and one member of the Ensemble did step into it during a transitional line. However, she and the rest of the cast carried themselves with grace and professionalism as though it did not even happen. Later, there was a phone meant to ring that did not, but again, the show continued without missing a beat. I was greatly impressed with the level of talent, as well as the quality of production, especially considering the theater’s size and tucked-away location. My guest and I will certainly be back at another time. | Nardos Mekonnon

Hairspray the Musical plays at Candlelight Dinner Playhouse through March 8. Visit the theater’s website for prices and showtimes.

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