The colorful costumes, wigs and high-energy songs are on full display in the hit Broadway musical, “Hairspray.”
But beneath the surface, the popular show is more than just a light, fluffy, fun musical that won nine Tony Awards. “Hairspray,” which opens Friday at Theater Works’ in the YOUth Works season, revolves around the social injustices of the 1960s.
Spunky teenager Tracy Turnblad is the heroine of the musical and at first isn’t allowed to dance on the “Corny Collins Show” because of her weight.
When she wins a role on the show, Tracy becomes a huge local celebrity overnight. Then, she launches a campaign to integrate the show with black dancers.
It causes some conflict with her friends and family, but Tracy continues to stand up and do what’s right in her heart.
The musical version of “Hairspray” is adapted from the 1988 John Waters film, which starred Divine, Debbie Harry, Sonny Bono and a then-unknown Ricki Lake. The movie had moderate success at the box office but a huge cult following later.
In 2002, “Hairspray” was adapted for the stage and ran off Broadway for seven years, winning multiple awards.
Hit songs include “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” “Good Morning, Baltimore,” “Timeless to Me,” “Without Love,” “I Know Where I’ve Been” and “Run and Tell That.”
There also have been many national tours, regional productions and local theater companies who’ve performed the show across the country, including YOUth Works.
The Broadway show became a hit movie, which starred John Travolta, Zac Effron, Christopher Walken, Michelle Pfeiffer and Queen Latifah.
YOUth Works’ “Hairspray” is directed Athena Hunting and features a large cast of young children and teenagers in a number of roles.