Wednesday, December 17, 2008
It was snowing understudy slips from playbills as we settled in to see Hairspray one last time before it closes on January 4th: Matthew Morgan on as Seaweed, Curt Hansen as Link, Daniel Robinson as Corny Collins. (All were seamless, and I especially liked Robinson's subdued snarled-lip take on Corny; I'd never have guessed these three weren't doing these roles daily.) The show is in remarkably great shape for its final weeks, with both Harvey Fierstein and Marissa Jaret Winokur back to reprise their Tony winning performances, and I spent the first act with the wildly enthusiastic audience marveling at how feelgood a well-directed, delightfully choreographed and terrificly scored big Broadway musical can be when everyone is on their game. Winokur didn't make it to the second act - Annie Funke took over after intermission, and we later heard whispers of a sprained ankle - but the highly rare mid-show switch in the already understudy-heavy perf just seemed to galvanize the performers anew to bring the goods. Hairspray's had a sensational seven year run; nonetheless, I'm sorry to see it go.