Ben Brantley in The New York Times:
If life were everything it should be — that is, if life were more like the endearing new musical called "Hairspray" that opened last night at the Neil Simon Theater — your every waking thought would be footnoted by a chorus of backup singers of early 60's vintage. You know, the kind who always come up with helpful bons mots like "ow-oot" and "bop-be-ba, ba-ba-ba-ba," whether the lead singer's heart is breaking or quaking.
Robin Pogrebin in The New York Times:
What makes this cast even more notable is not only the sheer number of distinctive performers but also their being largely unknown. "Hairspray" is their first big break. Although Broadway often considers stars essential to selling a show, "Hairspray" suggests that new talent can still lure crowds if it is strong enough. Aside from Harvey Fierstein, whom many theatergoers remember from "Torch Song Trilogy," the 1981 play he wrote and starred in, no one in the show was a box office draw.
<small>[ 11-29-2002, 10:55: Message edited by: Malcolm Tay ]</small>