By Sam Stachurski
The theatre department’s final show of the season at Western Michigan University will be coming to Shaw Theatre on April 12. But WMU is not closing on just any show. Instead, they are ending the 2011-2012 season with the eight time Tony Award-winning musical, Hairspray.
Some may remember the Hairspray for its recent movie adaptation with Zac Efron, John Travolta and many other big names. However, Hairspray was originally made for the stage.
“Our Hairspray is riding the line of larger than life theatricality with a heart that makes us care about the characters,” said Jay Berkow, director of music theatre performance at WMU as well as the director of the show. He works alongside Nick Dalton, choreographer, and Matthew Shabala, the music director.
To those unfamiliar with Hairspray, Berkow says it is “about a modest young girl who dreams big. Tracy is an average teenager who is not popular or traditionally pretty. She dreams of dancing on the Corny Collins Show and of falling in love with Link Larkin, the most popular boy in Baltimore. Both of these dreams come true but Tracy learns that her dreams take a back seat to what is morally right.
“She will walk away from both her new-found stardom and her love to make a stand for civil rights. And in the musical comedy world of Hairspray, this will come back to bring a happy ending for everyone,” said Berkow.
According to the cast list, Demi Zaino plays Tracy, the show’s leading lady; Blair Grotbeck plays Link; Colton Steele plays Tracy’s mother, Edna; Patrick Connaghan plays Corny Collins; and Molly Weidig plays Velma.
Hairspray will run at Shaw Theatre on April 12, 13 and 14 at 8 p.m.; April 15 at 2 p.m.; April 19, 20 and 21 at 8 p.m. as well as on April 21 at 2 p.m. On April 13, 14, 19 and 20, following the performances, the graduating seniors from the music theatre performance program will perform a cabaret show in the atrium lobby, in order to help prepare them for their New York Showcase.
Tickets are $5 for WMU students with a valid Student ID, $10 for all other students, $15 for WMU faculty members and senior citizens and $20 for everyone else. Tickets can be purchased at the door, over the phone or online.