When excellent theatrical shows run for a long time, it can be easy to forget that they're still around.
Take Phantom of the Opera, which is currently in its 25th consecutive season in New York City and recently celebrated an unprecedented ten thousandth performance.
While the Chanhassen Dinner Theater's production of Hairspray has nothing on those numbers, its recent extension (now running through May 26 instead of the original finale scheduled for this January) is a reminder that sometimes you need just a little more of a good thing.
There have been some minor adjustments to the cast to allow for the extra performance dates. Most notable is Ginger Commodore, who stepped in for Aimee Bryant (who is now performing As You Like It with Ten Thousand Things) as Motormouth Maybelle. Commodore seems a bit unsure of herself at first appearance, but rolls into a solid performance and a shining rendition of “I Know Where I've Been.”
The principles remain wonderful, and a few supporting cast members sneak in show-stealing moments. This is particularly true of Kaija Pellinen, whose geeky Penny Pingleton unleashes a massive and quirky set of vocal chords.
If you haven't seen Hairspray yet, I am joining the chorus urging you to do so. Chanhassen won't extend it for a second time (their next production, Xanadu, is scheduled to begin immediately after Hairspray closes), and all theater lovers should take the chance to see it while they can.