We Need More ‘Hairspray’!

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If you live around here, you’d see that our neighborhoods are filled with signs that say, “Hairspray”.  This is because the High School is currently performing this musical and it is fantastic!  Kelly auditioned for the show and was selected as a Corny Collins dancer.  This is perfect for her as she gets to use all of her swing dance moves that she has learned from being on that team.

If you’re not familiar with Hairspray, I did a little Google search for you…

Hairspray is an American musical based on the 1988 John Waters film Hairspray.   The songs include 1960s-style dance music and “downtown” rhythm and blues.  In 1962 Baltimore, Maryland,  plump teenager Tracy Turnblad’s dream is to dance on The Corny Collins Show, a local TV dance program based on the real-life Buddy Deane Show.   Our Tracy is played by a senior this year…Abby Herzog.  She has a wonderful voice and is actually a tiny little girl.  They had her wear a fat suit to bulk her up.

When Tracy wins a role on the show, she becomes a celebrity overnight, and meets a colorful array of characters, leading to social change as Tracy becomes an activist for integration, mimicking the activism that contributed to the integration of its real-life counterpart.  Furthermore, the line “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!” was a widely-used anti-integration slogan.    Here she is dancing with Seaweed, played by our friend Daniel.  Daniel was Alladin back in the junior high musical.  He has an amazing voice and has been cast in every musical since.

By using historical events and setting the musical during the social unrest that led to the  ‘Civil Rights Act’,  Hairspray is made highly empowering through nostalgia for older audiences, and via realization of shocking historical reality for younger audiences. Amidst this historical landscape, Tracy succeeds despite her figure, inter-racial relationships flourish, and hetero-normativity is challenged;  their believable success empowers anyone who feels ostracized because they are different.

This was one of my favorite musicals so far in this school district.  They took on a difficult subject matter, and really did a fantastic job.   All these kids were so professional about their “roles” and worked so hard to master this performance.  The cast included 61 students, an orchestra, and the lights & tech crew as well…and a large can of Ultra Clutch Hairspray.

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One of Kelly’s favorite parts in the musical was when she and the other dancers get to do the Ultra Clutch Hairspray commercial.   Ultra Clutch was the sponsor for the Cory Collins Show, so of course, they needed a commercial break during the taping.  She got to dance around the stage with a can of hairspray and they used “stage fog” for the spray.  It was hilarious to see all this spray and it hung in the air for a bit.  So funny and brings back memories of how much aerosol we used to use.  haha

Once again, Kelly had so many wonderful friends and family come to see her.  It always makes me smile to see her so happy and grateful for all these people to come enjoy their shows.  I know how much she appreciates it and they all work so hard to make it their best show, every night for us.

Kelly’s Aunt Terry and Godmother Shelly also attended the show and she got flowers from both.  So nice~  I think Terry would like her headshot next to Kelly’s for the next show.

Some of the fun things that you don’t get to see during these productions are backstage and during the “off times.”  These kids really enjoy being together 24-7, if they could.  They organize activities and get-togethers to relieve stress and to just relax and have some fun outside of the theater.  It’s good to walk away and think about other things, get some fresh air, and grab some food.   No matter where they are, they make each other laugh and really care for one another.

I went to a costume fitting with Kelly and had some fun on my own (because I lost her backstage) but I had my camera with me, so I wandered around and dreamed my own little dream when I found the costume shop.  What girl wouldn’t want a closet like this!

Then I came across the makeup room.  Yes please…fix me up all pretty!

Finally found Kelly and watched her get a few pins here and there, to make it all fit just right, thanks to Ian the costume designer and seamstress.

Last night was the final show and another sell-out.  They sold out 7 of the 8 shows and had to turn people away the last two nights.  That’s incredible and goes to show you how impressive this High School theater group really is.  So much talent and worth seeing every show.

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The Corny Collin’s girls~

Kelly with Link, Daniel as Seaweed, her partner Andre, and Corny Collins.   Kelly’s name is Becky in the show and Andre is Brad.  Andre is also her swing partner, so they enjoy dancing together and practice a lot, even at our house in the basement.  He’s pretty tall and really gets Kelly up in the air on some of their moves.  She has to really trust him.  They love to goof around and have a good time.

I saw this show twice and loved them both.  Nate and I are so proud of Kelly and her passion for theater.  It’s all she dreams about and hopefully her dreams will take her far onto a famous stage one day.  If so, we will be in the front row!

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Kelly’s biggest fans!

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3 comments

  1. I agree this is one of my favorite musical the bright colors the songs and the dancing was spectacular. Kelly is a natural up there on the stage and you can tell that she and Andre are perfect dance partners ,as they are enjoying every moment.Every cast member brought something to the performance and I only wish I could see it again.Looking forward to her next performance 😀

  2. Darn, looks like I missed a great show!!! Kelly looks adorable! Your pictures are great.

  3. I heard it was amazing!!!!!! Good job Kelly! Hope I can make the next one. Amazing pictures Cathy! Wow!

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