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Michael Ball, Hairspray (Stage-2007)
Catherine Ashmore

The Drowsy Chaperone was swiftly put to sleep when it came to London this past summer, but nothing can stop the beat of the latest U.S. import, Hairspray. It follows the fortunes of the fat, feisty, funny, and fabulous Tracy Turnblad — who shimmies her way onto TV, steals the heart of a swivel-hipped crooner, and fights racism along the way — but everyone’s a winner here: Newcomer Leanne Jones brings an irrepressible energy to Tracy; as her mom Edna, London’s leading man of musicals, Michael Ball, warmly transforms into an outrageous first lady of song. (01144-207-379-5399) A