After their successes in staging Aida, Fiddler on the Roof, Oliver!, The Sound of Music, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and Peter Pan, Must Come See Productions has gathered a talented cast and crew to bring the musical to the local stage.
Hairspray is a celebration of the song and dance of the 1960’s, “downtown” rhythm and blues with a “Motownesque” feel. With music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan (based on the 1988 John Waters film Hairspray), Hairspray is a satire of the injustices of parts of society during that time and deals with themes of racial division and healing.
The local production will feature well-known actress Debra Boucaud-Mason as Velma Von Tussle, TV personality Kearn Samuel as Link Larkin, well-known vocalist Adafih Padmore in the title role of Tracy Turnblad, UWI graduate Keegan Miguel as Edna Turnblad, and theatre veteran Jeremy Callaghan, the UWI, St Augustine Campus Registrar, as the high-blood pressured sponsor Harriman Spritzer. Musical favourites Justin Zephyrine and Maurice Rawlins play the roles Seaweed Stubbs and Wilbur Turnblad respectively.
Cacique award winner and co-producer Jessel Murray will conduct the live orchestral/pop/“Motown” band accompaniment and Louis McWilliams will direct. Other artistic names include costume designer Lyanna Brown, scenic designer Dara Jordan-Brown and Cacique award winning choreographer Adele Bynoe assisted by Jorge Morej?n. The team is rounded off with make-up designer Steven Taylor, lighting designer Knolly Whiskey and sound designer Treldon Thompson.
The musical is set in 1962 (50 years ago) in Baltimore, Maryland where “pleasantly plump” teenager Tracy Turnblad has only one passion: to dance. Her upbeat personality and vivaciousness wins her a coveted spot on the local TV dance programme, “The Corny Collins Show” and overnight, she becomes a star. As the show progresses Tracy wins hearts and rocks the social landscape with her turn-of-the-century ideas on camaraderie and equality for all.
The opening of this musical Broadway production won eight Tony Awards out of thirteen nominations and ran for over 2,500 performances. Hairspray has also had US national tours, a London West End production and numerous foreign productions along with its adaption for film in 2007. The London production was nominated for a record-setting eleven Laurence Olivier Awards, winning for Best New Musical and in three other categories.
Must Come See Productions, the production arm of the UWI Arts Chorale, is a non-profit organisation, committed to celebrating, encouraging, promoting and nurturing the diverse talents and works of Trinidad and Tobago. Known for its panache and innovation in the Broadway genre, MCSP has been honoured with a record-setting fourteen Cacique awards from the National Drama Association of Trinidad and Tobago (NDATT), including Most Outstanding Musical and Most Outstanding Production. The production continues this evening and tomorrow at 7.30 pm, Sunday at 4 pm, on July 5 at 7 pm, July 6 and 7 at 7.30 pm and Sunday July 8 at 2 pm and 7 pm.