“You can’t stop the beat”…or the cast from the 2015 Theatre Under the Stars production of Hairspray. The high energy show, full of upbeat songs and non-stop movement, will have you bopping in your seat and jumping to your feet with applause.

I have been to many TUTS productions, I’ve choreographed a number of musical productions, and the TUTS 2015 production of Hairspray is my new favourite. There wasn’t a weak cast member, in fact there were a ridiculous number of stand-out performers. You know a cast is strong when members of the ensemble shine and could easily be lead performers.

I feel in love with Erin E. Walker’s voice. She played the lead role of Tracy Turnblad. Her’s is a voice I won’t soon forget. The staging, lights and costuming could have all been removed and her performance would be none the worse for it. Oh to be able to sing like she does. 

TUTS Hairspray 2015 - Vancouver

Photo credit: Tim Matheson

Other stand-out performances were given by:  Andy Toth (who played the role of Tracy’s mother, Edna Turnbald), Hannah Williams (Tracy’s best friend, Penny Pingleton), Marisa Gold (small role of Little Inez but, wow, is she an up and coming star), and Dustin Freeland (who played the lead male role of Link Larkin; I’ve also enjoyed Dustin’s acting skills in both Shakespearean Rhapsody and Dot & Ziggy).

You can catch Hairspray at the Malkin Bowl, in Stanley Park, on even days in July and odd days in August. Don’t forget to check out TUTS other production, Oliver, which runs alternate nights through the summer.

I’m still singing, in my head as I’m lacking in ability, “you can’t stop the beat”.