Photo courtesy of Michelle Edwards
“There was so much comedy, there was so much to laugh at, and there were so many upbeat songs, stated Mrs. Swarm, BYMS advanced drama teacher, about the advanced drama performance of Hairspray Jr. on April 25th and 26th in the MPR, at BYMS, 6:30 P.M.
The play was performed during seventh and eighth grade assemblies and two evening performances with two different casts alternating performances and was based on the New Line Cinema film written and directed by John Maters. The book was written by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, music is by Marc Shaiman, and the lyrics are by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman.
“It’s 1962, and spunky teen, Tracy Turnblad, has one big dream, to dance on the popular “Corny Collins Show.” When she finally gets her shot, she’s transformed from social outcast to sudden star. In balancing her newfound power with her desire for justice,” stated Swarm.
“Tracy fights to dethrone the reigning Miss Teen Hairspray, Amber von Tussle, and integrate a TV network in the process. With the help of her zany, plus-sized mom, Edna, and guest DJ, Motormouth Maybelle, the rhythm of Tracy’s new beat just might prove unstoppable!” stated Swarm.
During an interview with the Matador Messenger, Mrs. Swarm stated “At the heart of this show was the message that we can’t judge a book by its’ cover. At the root of the whole thing was this message of integration. This message of what African Americans went through in the 60’s, not having the same rights as white people did and how it really took a lot of people coming together to bring the Civil Rights Movement to fruition. The play really showed how it took a lot of people to put that together.”
Roxanne Bandy-Gomez, Lighting and Sound Tech added on to what Mrs. Swarm said by writing the following for the opening monologue, “Although we are putting race a little bit to the side during musical about racial segregation, we think you all can whip up a little thing called “suspension of disbelief” to witness the story we’re telling you. That way, you can see the character for who they are instead of their race, kind of like how one of us girls is played by a guy and you just get to enjoy the character!”
The cast included the following members:
Lighting and Sound Tech / Opening Monologue: Roxanne Bandy-Gomez
Tracy Turnblad: Alyssa Vogt; Veronica French
Corny Collins: Evan Goff
Edna Turnblad: Aidan Dobyns; Jake Flores
Wilbur Turnblad: Bob Engleby
Penny Pingleton: Grace Edwards; Kaylee Worrell
Prudy Pingleton: Isabella Borboa
Amber Von Tussle: Abby Franklin / Mackenzie Clifton
Velma Von Tussle: Jessica Landin / Adara Kerstetter
Link Larkin: Bryce Kawell
Seaweed Stubbs: Jordan Holmes
Little Inez Stubbs: Maya Alvarez
Motormouth Maybelle: Lyric Wilder
The Dynamites: Ashlee Holmes (Judine); Julie Hussain (Kamilah); Kiely Delaney (Shayna)
Mr. Pinky: Jake Napier
Council Members: Nick Theriot (Brad); Laurana Tetzlaff (Tammy); Caiden Gastil (Fender); /Jake Flores; Aidan Dobyns (Sketch); Neurene Canawati (Shelly); Bethany Barks (Lou Ann); Jake Napier?
Gym Teacher: Musaffa Jaweed
Cindy Watkins: Sofia Sernaque
Matron: Lauren Tollison
Principal: Kiely Delaney
Lorraine: Sophia Sernaque
Gilbert: Musaffa Jaweed
Guard: Nick Theriot
Guard: Caiden Gastil
Newscaster: Caiden Gastil
Beatnick Chick: Bethany Barks
Messenger: Lauren Tollison
Paul Pierce: Puresound Production and Construction Dads: Brian Dobyns and Corey Kerstetter, donated their time to help with the sets.
“I really enjoyed the play. The acting and singing were great. What I enjoyed most was watching the audience laugh, smile and clap! Everyone was having lots of fun!” stated Mr. Marshall, BYMS Assistant Principal.
Evan Goff, actor who played Corny Collins, stated in an interview with the Matador Messenger, “We had some costume issues, for example there were a few people that didn’t show with their costumes. But anyways it went pretty well, I would say.”
Veronica French, actress who played Tracy Turnblad, said, “It was a lot of fun in the way were I got to work with a lot of people, who I’m good friends with and I developed a lot of new relationships with people who I wasn’t particular friends with to begin with.”
“I was amazed at the quality of the performances by each actor. I was entertained from start to finish!” stated Mr. Valburg, BYMS Principal.
“I thought both performances of the play were really outstanding. I thought they gave our actors a chance to sign in some individual roles and as a group in the ensemble cast. I really wish that the audiences in the assemblies have gotten to see the entire play because there were some additional outstanding performances towards the end of the show. But those night time audiences got to see just a dynamite performance,” Mrs. Swarm stated.