Theater department fine tunes for Hairspray debut

Inspirational, but exciting are the words that embody thefast-paced, but fun-moving musical Hairspray.The musical opens with a loud ringing of Tracy Turnblads, the main heroine, alarm clocksignaling the start of herjourney, which is followed bythe passionate music of the live band accompanying the studentsperforming in the musical.Hairspray is an upbeat,exciting story about a girlsadventure, filled with moments of happiness, sadness and, at times, inspiration. Set inBaltimore, Md. in 1962,Turnblad, who is played by Raechelle Egan, a senior majoring in theater performance and interpretive sign language, loves to dance and wants to be on The Corny Collins show,before she is stopped byproducer, Velma, and herdaughter, Amber, who try to ruin her chances of staying on the show.It is more than just the dance sequences and enjoyable songs that make this a one-of-a-kindmusical. Underneath theoptimistic songs and the diversecharacters, the story has adeeper storyline about change, integration and the courage to stand up for what is right.Egans optimistic and naive character drives the story. Egan said the audience should expect Hairspray to be different from the 2007 version starring Zac Efron and Nikki Blonsky.In fact, she said the Director, Andrew Frye, drew inspiration more from the 1988 version of Hairspray, directed by JohnWaters in order to giveHairspray an edginess to it.Egan said she wants toportray that edginess.
(Tracy) also has this edge, she said. And thats what I try to bring to Tracy.Good Morning Baltimore, I Can Hear the Bells, Welcome to the 60s, and many of the other familiar songs can all be heard in addition to several new songs and scenes inserted by the director to build story and depth to each character in the story.The actors convey theemotions and expressions of every character, bringing out the spectacular scenes in this musical creating a compelling story like the Broadwayversion. The audience is able to laugh and cry with the character, sympathizing alongside and rooting for equality toprevail.The choreography blows away the audience keeping the crowd in as the songs and the singing of the characters make one tap of his or her foot on the floor with the beat wanting to join along with the cast.For those going to see the show this weekend andfollowing days, it is a show that is sure to grab the hearts of the young and the young-hearted.While it was created in1988 on film, the story shows many themes that speak toeveryone and covers a range of topics that are still relatable to today.I think its the energy, Egan said. The fact it makes you feel those things ineverything so its against the odds.Tickets are $15 for students and $20 for general admission. Shows run from Oct. 11 to Oct. 13 and Oct. 17 to Oct. 20, and begin at 8 p.m. and on Oct. 14 and Oct. 21 at 3 p.m. inTheater I.