Hairspray: The Soundtrack

A conglomerate of stars young, old, and in between lend their voices to the soundtrack: Hairspray. Danceable, kid-friendly tunes soulfully sung by Zac Efron and Elijah Kelley are juxtaposed against bold, sultry ballads: Queen Latifah makes the world believe “Black is Beautiful;” love is in the air during the John Travolta-Christopher Walken duet “(You’re) Timeless to Me” (implausible, I know, but true). The supporting cast delivers solid vocals throughout. Producer Marc Shaiman expertly curbed potential show stoppers (Amanda Bynes) and show killers alike (sorry Brittany). Nikki Blonsky was born to play Tracy Turnblad; in every word she sings you feel her gleaming smile and energy. With Hairspray, the songs are the story. Aided only by the cd cover picturing the actors in costume and, of course, the melodies, I created my own 1962 Baltimore: the hair, the high school, the black and white television set with the black and white teens on their designated sides, and the dances appeared before me as the drama unfolded in song.

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