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Broadway’s ‘Hairspray’ recalls civil rights themes

By Kayloni Wyatt
Assistant Around the Campus Editor

“Hairspray,” the musical, will be coming to UNCP Oct. 4. The production will be shown in GPAC.
Hairspray takes place in Baltimore, Md., during 1962. The 1950s are long gone and it’s time to live up the 1960s.
The main character, Tracy Turnblad, is a plus-sized girl with large hair and a big personality.
Tracy and her best friend Penny Pingleton, played by Alyssa Malgeri, come home from school everyday to watch a popular dance show, “The Corny Collins Show.”
Corny Collins and all of his “Council Kids” are white.
Black kids are only allowed on Corny Collins on “Negro Day,” held the last Thursday of each month and hosted by local R&B radio disc jockey Maybelle Stubbs.
Neither of their parents approve of their daughters basing their lives around a TV show, particularly one where teens dance to racy music.
One day, Corny Collins announces that one of his “Council Kids” is going on a leave of absence and auditions for a replacement will be held the next morning.
However, there is one catch: the auditions are being held during school hours.
Velma von Tussle, the manager of the TV station, turns Tracy away at the audition for being overweight and supportive of integration, which results in Tracy being sent to detention for skipping school.
While serving her detention, she finds out that all black kids hang out and dance there.
Tracy befriends the detention hall's best dancer, Maybelle's son Seaweed.
He teaches Tracy several R&B dance moves to help her in the competition.
“Hairspray” is based on the New Line Cinema film written

and directed by John Waters,
who served as a creative consultant on the musical comedy, according to a press release from GPAC.
“Hairspray” features an original score by Academy Award-nominated Marc Shaiman, who co-wrote the music and lyrics for South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut.
The lyrics are writen by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, the press release continued.

This production of the play
“Hairspray” is based on Jack
O'Brien's original and Jerry Mitchell's original choreography, recreated by Matt Lenz and Danny James Austin, respectively, according to the press release.
Tickets for the show are on sale now with prices ranging from $35 to $15 for adults, and $12 for children 12 or under.
UNCP students can purchase a ticket for $5 and $15 for faculty and staff.


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Updated: Monday, October 15, 2007
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