Though its been produced many times in film and on Broadway, Hairspray, and Tracy Turnblad more specifically, will still be unique when the musical opens Friday night at Macon Little Theatre.
I saw the original movie a long time ago and recently saw the remake, and I watched the Broadway performance online, and that was definitely helpful in developing Tracys character, but what I like most about the role of Tracy is that you can truly make her your own, said Bailey Vincent, 18, who was cast in her first lead role for this production.
Directed by Sylvia Haynie and Laura Voss, Hairspray follows Tracy as she seeks to integrate a popular television dance show in 1962 Baltimore.
Tracy is a plus-size teenager who is obsessed with Link Larkin on The Corny Collins Show and she is all for integration. She doesnt like the idea that black and white people are not allowed to dance together on the show, and her journey is to integrate the show and win the heart of Link, Vincent said.
And though the topic can be serious at times, Hairspray is a comedy at heart. Its a very upbeat, fun and nostalgic look at the early 60s, Haynie said. It deals with the issue of discrimination and one young womans energetic approach to breaking down those barriers. It is over the top in a lot of places.
The family friendly show has 43 people within a broad age range involved in its production, including two girls playing Little Inez.
We needed two girls to share that role since were working with younger actors. Its an extremely diverse cast in terms of both age and ethnicity, and thats part of what it takes to tell the story, Haynie said.
One of the roles Hairspray has made famous is that of Edna Turnblad, Tracys mother, a role that is classically played by a man.
Dan Byrd will be playing Tracys mother; a great transformation is underway every night, Haynie said, adding that the character can be insecure sometimes but is always very loving of her daughter.
The mother-daughter bond is one Vincent is very familiar with.
For sure I can relate, she said. Your mother always has your best interest at heart, but teenagers want to do what they want to do.
In the end, though, love wins out.
I think audiences are really going to embrace the love in this show, Haynie said.
When: 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday and Wednesday-July 20; 2:30 p.m. Sunday and July 21
Where: Macon Little Theatre, 4220 Forsyth Road
Cost: $18 adults, $15 seniors, $10 students
Information: 471-7529 or www.maconlittletheatre.org