Hair Hop on the Mountaintop

I reviewed this little taste of early-’60s Baltimore on Mt. Tam for today’s Marin IJ. You can read all about it over there.

Kimmie Swanson as Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray.

One caveat, though: I’ve received a few angry emails about one phrase in the review, and although it’s ironic that people feel the need to be insulting to me to make the point that I should be more sensitive to others, I think they have a point. I said of the young woman playing Tracy Turnblad that “Her chirpy voice keeps wavering in a way that sounds distractingly like Miss Piggy.” I was referring only to a vocal similarity, but it was an ill-chosen comparison considering the context and the age of the performer. At the time I was struggling to come up with a descriptive phrase for what she was doing with her voice that made her sound that way (i.e., “mewling”), but they struck me as more pejorative than I meant, and in just falling back on the easy comparison that struck me at the time, I managed to be even more insensitive than if I’d just used the words I was avoiding. I certainly didn’t mean to be hurtful, and it was a poor judgment call on my part.

Through June 19
Cushing Memorial Amphitheatre
Mount Tamalpais State Park
Mill Valley, CA

Show #48 of 2011, attended May 22.

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  1. 5 / 27 / 2011 9:53 pm

    Miss Piggy reveled in her size and flaunted what she had with gusto. She was proud of who she was (and yeah, her voice was rather mewling, but did I love her any less? no!). We all should be so self-assured.





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