Readers who enjoy local theater know exactly what I’m talking about. Long a favorite on local stages for his big voice, bigger stage presence, and self-described big gay magic, Kelly is more than funny. And that’s why you should go to see Hairspray at Beck Center.
Kelly returns to the Beck stage for the first time in five years to star in the key role of Edna Turnblad, Mom of the fat girl Tracy Turnblad, who just wants to dance on TV with the nicest kids in town—no matter whether they’re black or white. Remember the original John Waters film of the same name from 1988? That one stared the drag phenomenon Divine as Edna Turnblad. Kevin Kelly fills the big shoes well.
Actually he’s just one reason to see Hairspray at Beck. It’s a solid production with deep ranks of talent: high energy and strong voices—even if the dancing isn’t always what you might expect from a show about the racial integration of a TV dance show.
Hairspray is on stage through August 14, so you’ve got some time. But I went on a Sunday afternoon, and the hall was about 90% full. So don’t sleep on this one. Tickets are available here
Meanwhile, stepping out doors, I had just about too much fun with the debut of the Water Moose portable sprinkler park, which you can see in action several ways: Dan Morgan shot this video. I cranked it up loud so I could hear the soundtrack—a calming rhythm of sprinklers going “tch tch tch tch” while the kids squeal their delight.
My favorite moments are where the kids drop any pretense of decorum and shove their butts into the spray—especially when they go for the geyser in the middle, which shoots straight up like a bidet.
Thomas Mulready interviewed me about the thing for Cool Cleveland, and while I am not nearly as much fon to watch and hear as the kids, I provide it for you here.
Finally, Jim O’Bryan shot these photos for the Lakewood Observer. I guess they accurately portray how I felt about the whole thing.
Finally, bars, beer, bicycles, athletic competition, and a great neighborhood all come together this weekend at the Lakewood Criterium, which gave me the opportunity to produce my first ever video report for Cool Cleveland. It’s free for spectators, so get thee to Lakewood’s West End Saturday afternoon, where you’ll find plenty of partiers and high-speed action on two wheels.