Hairspray musical impresses audiences with song, dance

Marcelo Cruz, Co-Photo Editor

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The Akins Journey Theatre program brought beloved character Tracy Turnblad and a  cast of quirky characters to life when their production of Hairspray hit the stage in late January.

The story revolves about Tracy Turnblad, an overweight teen living in Baltimore during 1962. She dreams of dancing on the popular “The Corny Collins Show,” which is managed by people who are body-image conscious and only allow black people to dance one day a month on the show. Tracy works throughout the play to break down the barriers of body type and race to make the show an enjoyable experience for all.

The musical’s cast and crew was made up of theater, orchestra and dance students was a collaborative endeavor for the entire fine arts department. This the second time that the theater program has included live music into a play. This time orchestra students provided the musical accompaniment to the song and dance numbers.

Fans of the 2007 version of the Hairspray movie looked forward to songs like  “Good morning Baltimore,” “The nicest kid in town,”  and “Big blonde and beautiful.”

Paul Crockett, who directs the orchestra students and serves as the Fine Arts Department Chair, said that Hairspray is the best musical, the Akins theatre department has ever staged.

“Tate Fincher, Buck Palmer and especially Nick Doshier have raised the level of performance with the musicians in the pit orchestra,” he said. “They sounded as professional as any Broadway group.”

Akins Journey Theatre made the show a huge success, filling up all the seats in the theatre for every show they played. Students from all grades did their very best to perform.

Many who atttended said they were impressed with the new projection equipment in the theater that added a professionl look to the production.

Brad Distelhorst and Erica Vallejo wrote a thank you note for everyone who attended the musical, and for the students who played a major role in putting the whole thing together.

“We are so lucky to have such a talented Fine Arts department with these teachers pushing the Jazz Band, Choir and Sapphires to be the best that they can be,” they wrote.

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