John Burroughs High School students present the musical Hairspray at the high school auditorium Friday through Sunday, February 5 – 7. Hairspray tells the story of high school outcast Tracy Turnblad who realizes her dream of becoming a regular dancer on the popular Corny Collins Show.
Tracy uses her newfound popularity to try to change the segregation in her local 1960s Baltimore society, while going head to head with the reigning Teen Queen and turning the teen scene and the status quo upside down.
Directed by JBHS Drama head Guy Myers, with vocal direction by Vocal Music Director Brendan Jennings and a live orchestra conducted by high school Instrumental Music teacher Taylor Arakelian, the musical adaptation is based on the John Waters’ movie Hairspray.
“Hairspray is high energy fun onstage, but there is just as much going on backstage during the show with complicated sets, multiple costume changes and almost 50 wigs!” commented Myers. “The cast and crew have been incredibly professional in dealing with the rented sets from the Vegas production of Hairspray, which was part of the national tour.”
“This production is more than just another high school musical; it is going to be an event!” he added.
Members of the JBHS drama, musical theater, vocal music and dance programs have spent an intense month of preparation for the performance.
“The drama program at John Burroughs High School is honestly so amazing and unlike anything I have come across in my years of acting,” commented junior Zach Guerrero, who portrays the witty and outspoken Edna Turnblad, Tracy’s mother.
“I had recently moved from Arizona to pursue my dreams and the level of performance that Hairspray has to offer is beyond the standards of productions I have participated in.”
“I am so excited to be playing my dream role as Edna Turnblad. I am so honored to be directed under Mr. Myers and to be working with such talented actors in the cast,” Guerrero added. “The show is extravagant and thrilling and I am excited to bring it to the public!”
“This production of Hairspray at JBHS is hands down one of the most amazing things I’ve ever had the pleasure of being apart of,” said junior Aubrianna Rohan. “Being able to portray the iconic role of Tracy Turnblad had been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember.”
“The outstanding director, Mr. Guy Myers, has allowed the entire cast to explore their creative ability as actors and actresses, as well as have a blast while doing it. We have all worked so hard on this show and I am so excited to welcome everyone to the 60s!”
“Hairspray has been an incredibly entertaining experience. I’ve loved playing the shockingly cruel villain named Velma,” said senior Madison Mayer about her turn as Velma Von Tussle. “The music, the message and the cast make for an environment that makes smiles multiply. It’s a beautiful story about the importance of equality told through the rhythmic music of the era.”
With music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and the book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, Hairspray won eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Book and Best Score. The musical features popular songs “Good Morning, Baltimore,” “I Can Hear the Bells,” “Without Love” and “You Can’t Stop the Beat.”
Hairspray runs Friday, February 5, and Saturday, February 6, at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, February 7, at 12:00 p.m. Tickets are $25 for priority seating, $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and students and are available in advance here or at the box office before the show.