In what is shaping up to be their most complex performance yet, Mountain Pointe High School students will bring the smash Broadway hit “Hairspray” to Ahwatukee Foothills next month.

The long-running and award-winning musical about “pleasantly plump” underdog, Tracy Turnblad, has a cult following, and for good reason, as one actress put it. Colorful costumes, catchy tunes, and memorable characters are just a few of the things that make “Hairspray” a great performance.

“It’s all about the time where teens are going with the flow of segregation,” Shea Hunter, who plays the heroine, said of the show, which is set in Baltimore in the 1960s. “It’s real life, this was actually happening back then. It was taken right from history.”

The story revolves around Tracy, her attempts and eventual success to get on “The Corny Collins Show,” a local teenage dance show. Rooted within that are themes of racism, segregation, and prejudice. Tracy is the one that brings the sides together.

Director Kim Bonogofski did an exercise that separated the students racially to help them understand what it was like back then.

“We can joke about it now because society has come so far since then, but (Bonogofski) wanted us to see how it was,” Hunter said. “The other side of (prejudice) is that people have this idea of what a perfect person should be and if you think like that, you’re probably going to be disappointed.”

The cast has been practicing for more than two weeks and will continue to rehearse almost every day leading up to their March 29 opening.

It is a complex performance because the producers have brought together the theater, dance, choir, and band departments as a communal effort to bring the show to life. The result will be a hilarious performance that will leave the audience wanting more, Hunter said.

“There are punch lines everywhere,” she said. “I think people love this production so much because they want to see the underdog on top. In my way is the fact that I am fighting against the social norm.”

Mountain Pointe will show four performances, from March 29-31. The shows are at 7 p.m. each day with a 2 p.m. matinee on March 31.

Tickets can be purchased at the box office on campus, 4201 E. Knox Road. To find out more, call (480) 759-8449.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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