Hip, Hip Hairspray!

Published: Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 04:21 PM.

Starring in the role made famous on Broadway by Harvey Fierstein, and in the film by John Travolta, senior Alex Causey played the drag version of Edna Turnblad, a role whose girth calls for a male actor. Causey reveled in the opportunity, sashaying around with his ample bosom for maximum comic effect. His soft shoe with husband Wilbur Turnblad (Christian Jones), to the warm and cheery love song “Timeless to Me” was a glowing tribute to how beauty is truly “in the eyes of the beholder.”

The show revolves around the ambition of the Turnblads’ daughter, Tracy, (Cynthia Duncan) to secure a coveted spot in the dance troupe of “The Corny Collins Show.” As it turns out, Tracy, who is not very gently chided for her weight by a snotty rival Amber Van Tussle (Ursula Countryman), manages to be picked for the show. She brings to the TV show not only a sassy alternative to the rail-thin other girls, but an outspoken advocacy for expanding “Negro Day” from once a month, even, heaven forbid, allowing for an integrated dance floor!

Van Tussle’s mom, Velma (high school teacher Stephanie Howze-Jones) not only directs the “Corny Collins Show,” and is bigoted to boot, but is willing to even cheat if it means her daughter will win the Miss Hairspray crown.

After Tracy sings “Good Morning Baltimore,” a testimony to her optimism, the show switches to the set of the Corny Collins show, where Austin Carter played the slick host. Called in to play the part with just a few weeks to spare, Carter was one of the only actors to lip sync, as he managed the acting assignment suavely, with superb charm.

By show’s end, this all-white dance crew has come together with the all-black youth. With choreography by experienced dancer Morgan Martin, who played both Little Inez and Judine, these group scenes were among the best in the show, proving that Seahawks know how to scoot in sync along the dance floor.

Among those young people were Gilbert (Kelsey Jones), Stooie (Maliek Rhodes), Cindy Watkins (Bria Walker), Tammy (Megan Collins), Brad (Chandler White), Fender (Gabby Bond), Brenda (Deborah Dempsey), Sketch (Cameron White), Shelley (Madison Newell), IQ (Shane Bellew), LouAnn (Brook Pittman), Lorraine (Aaliyah West), Kamilah (Shameika Lake), and Shayna (Beyla Walker).

With her goofy, geeky best friend Penny Pingleton (Raven Carr) as her sidekick, Tracy sets out on an adventure that takes her to the “Negro” side of town, where she discovers the meaning of freedom and equality by an involvement with a civil rights demonstration that leads to her jailing.



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