Hip, Hip Hairspray!


Alex Causey as Edna Turnblad, and Christian Jones as husband Wilbur, were a delightful pair.

DANA WHALEY | Special to the Times
Published: Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 04:21 PM.

If you didn’t see the production of the musical “Hairspray” at the high school Friday night, you missed more than a great show.

You missed a turning point in the young history of the consolidated Franklin County School, a bend in the river that flows towards a growing desire for the creation of a robust drama program.

Staging of the Broadway musical, with music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by him and Scott Wittman, and book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, was the brainchild of senior Jathan Martin, who came to librarian Patty Creamer at the end of 2013 to pitch her on the idea.

A skilled musician, with an ample familiarity with musical theatre, Martin convinced Creamer to back the idea of his staging and directing the comic masterpiece, with a bevy of spirited actors, singers and dancers, despite the school lacking a drama program at the school.

Creamer was four-square behind the talents of Martin, choreographer Morgan Martin and an extracurricular cast and crew, but was not familiar with all the details of the script, which focuses gently on the turmoil of when the civil rights movement first came alive 50 years ago, as seen through the prism of an “American Bandstand” type live dance party television show in Baltimore, Maryland.

The show addresses issues of how society has loosened its strictly held views on everything from interracial dating to puberty to obesity. The dialogue is not without its spicy language, some of which gave Creamer fits, and some of which she nixed, or so the actors say.

But as it turned out, the large audience that took in the show Friday leaped to its feet with a standing ovation, after a show that can best be described as memorable.

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