A contemporary classic is coming to the stage, courtesy of the Wanda L. Bass School of Music.
Hairspray is the hugely successful Broadway musical that, after being released in 2002, went on to win eight Tony Awards and four Laurence Olivier Awards, while earning multiple international tours and a 2007 musical film.
Based on the 1988 John Waters movie of the same name, Hairspray takes place in Baltimore in 1962, where “Tracy Turnblad,” who’s played by both Shannon Calkins, music theater freshman, and Madelaine Heigele, vocal performance junior, is trying to earn a spot on the fictional teenage dance show, The Corny Collins Show. She wants to catch the eye of the teen heartthrob “Link Larkin,” who’s being played by Nicholas Reese, acting junior, and Vision Wilkes-Davis, vocal performance/music theater junior.
After getting rejected because of her weight, Tracy finds solidarity with a black schoolmate and fellow dancer named “Seaweed,” whose mother, “Motormouth Maybelle,” is the DJ of “Negro Day,” the monthly special on The Corny Collins Show that allows African Americans to be on the show.
Seaweed will be played by Brandon Stalling, music theater sophomore, and Valentino Valentine, acting senior, while Motormouth Maybelle will be played by Elena Gage, music theater graduate, and Alyssa Peters, music/acting freshman.
Karen Coe Miller, assistant director of opera & music theater, is directing the show. She said she wanted to give credit to Choreographer Alana Martin and Music Director Matt Mailman for their roles in the production.
She also emphasized the serious themes of acceptance and integration that penetrate through the performance’s fun and lighthearted feeling.
“It’s really about an underdog achieving her dream,” she said.
Tickets will range from $14 to $28, but student tickets are half-priced. Tickets can be purchased on the TheatreOCU website. Student vouchers are also available in the Tom and Brenda McDaniel University Center.
Andrea Amaro, acting junior, said anticipation for the show is growing as the first musical of the season approaches.
“I’ve heard a lot of people are excited,” said Andrea Amaro, acting junior, “It’s really fun.”
The performance this weekend carries many powerful messages wrapped up in its fun and in-your-face style. It will show at 8 p.m. on Sept. 30 and Oct 1, with a matinee at 3 p.m. on Oct 2.