It's the first week of August, and so another season at the Muny comes to an end. But before the lights are turned out, there's one last show — and a Muny premiere, no less. Hairspray, the musical based on John Waters' film that became so successful it was translated back into a film, closes out the season with a plus-size dose of fun. Tracy Turnblad, a zaftig would-be dancer in Baltimore, dreams of starring on Corny Collins' dance show. With a little luck and a bit of hard work, Tracy makes her dream come true — and then decides to do good with her newfound popularity, by racially integrating the program whether Baltimore likes it or not. Oh, the 1962 setting of the play means the clothes and hairstyles are tastefully tacky to our modern eyes, but the essential plot points are still current. Societal rules in grown-up America are very much like the rules of high school, and if you're different — plumper than average, not white, weirder than most, what-have-you — you're supposedly unlovable. Tracy, with her big hips, big hair and big heart, proves that you don't have to play by those rules. The Muny takes the cap off the Hairspray at 8:15 p.m. Monday through Sunday (August 3 through 9) at the Muny in Forest Park (314-361-1900 or www.muny.org). Tickets are $9 to $66.
Aug. 3-9, 2009