photo by Glory Attaochu
Hairspray wielding members of The Corny Collins Show are excited as they await the final verdict of the Miss Teen Hairspray Contest of 1962.
Broadway’s ‘Hairspray’ sells out GPAC
By Robert Deckert
The Broadway musical sensation, “Hairspray,” performed for an officially sold out crowd at the Givens Performing Arts Center Oct. 4.
More than 1,500 people attended the musical play, according to Patricia Fields, executive director of GPAC. Winner of eight Tony Awards, “Hairspray” is based on the John Waters 1988 musical film, which starred Divine as the mother Edna Turnblad, and Ricki Lake as her daughter, Tracy.
The film was remade in 2007 and starred John Travolta and Nikki Blonsky.
The musical is set in 1962, the era of the American Civil Rights Movements, and is about a young girl named Tracy who is determined to be on the popular The Corny Collins Show.
An opportunity for her to tryout for a position arises and she is turned away because of her size.
Some of the hit songs performed were “Good Morning Baltimore,” “I Know Where I’ve Been” and “You Can’t Stop the Beat.”
Brooklyn Pulver, who played the disheartened yet optimistic Tracy Turnblad, has been in several musicals including “Little Shop of Horrors” and “The Full Monty.” “Hairspray” is her first national tour.
“The girl who plays Tracy is spot-on,” said UNCP visiting assistant professor Carole Graham, J.D.
Once a month, The Corny Collins Show allows black kids to dance on the designated “Negro Day.”
Tracy clashes with Velama Von Tussle, played by Kristin Stewart because she goes against the social norm by advocating the full integration of blacks into the rest of the show.
“It’s set in ‘62 and is pretty relevant to today, whether it be size, disability or race,” Graham said.
In the tradition of Waters’ 1988 film, the role of Edna Turnblad is played by Jerry O’Boyle.
“How can you not love the mother?” said Chancellor Allen C. Meadors.
O’Boyle has been in other musicals including “Fiddler on the Roof,” “1776” and “My Fair Lady.”
The musical explored racial issues as Tracy learned about Negro Day from the perspectives of Seaweed J. Stubbs and Motormouth Maybelle, who were played by Christian White and Angela Birchett. “It really goes in sync with the recent events, like the Harmony Walk or the Funeral for the ‘N’ word,” senior Gladys Silva said.