Preview: ‘Hairspray’

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Photo by Serina Duarte

Theatre students are combing out a few loose ends in their production of “Hairspray,” the punchy musical-comedy that opens Oct. 16.

Set in 1962, “Hairspray” is based on the edgy John Waters movie that raised issues about race relations, body image and provincialism.

A Broadway musical, “Hairspray” debuted in August of 2002 and won a Tony Award for Best Musical. SWC’s production will be directed by Katherine Rodda, a San Diego City College associate professor of dramatic arts.

“We are following the Broadway show,” said Rodda. “Since it was originally written for the stage, it’s the best one for theatre.”

“Hairspray,” the Broadway musical, was written by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan with music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. On Broadway it ran from 2002 until 2009 with more than 2,500 shows.

Originally created as a movie by Waters in 1988, “Hairspray” comments on racial injustices in American society through the lens of Baltimore prior to the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

“Hairspray” follows stout teenager Tracy Turnblad and her dream of being on the local dance program, “The Corny Collins Show.” When Turnblad wins a spot on the show she becomes an overnight celebrity in Baltimore and aims to integrate the show.

SWC’s production of “Hairspray” will feature Shelly Courchaine as Tracy Turnblad, Mitchell Horne as Edna Turnblad, Alex King as Penny Pingleton, Israel Valdivia as Link Larkin, Erick Jimenez as Corny Collins and Marielle Bardos as Amber Von Tussle.

Choreographer Dana Maue said she is excited that SWC is producing a musical.

“I am very happy to be a part of the production,” said Maue. “Students can expect a high-energy, entertaining and fun musical!”

Led by instructor Debra Nevin, musicians from SWC’s orchestra and concert band will perform the score. Vocal music instructor Michelle Tolvo-Chan will coach the singers.

“Hairspray” will run Oct. 16-19 and 23-27. For tickets call the Mayan Hall box office at (619) 482-6367.

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