Scrolling Headlines:

UMass hockey competes hard, falls to No. 10 Providence College in overtime -

February 26, 2017

Overtime goal hands UMass hockey its 15th straight loss in regular season finale -

February 26, 2017

Former NAACP President Benjamin Jealous gives talk at UMass -

February 25, 2017

Anti-racism workshop teaches tactics to fight oppression in community -

February 25, 2017

Providence power play haunts UMass hockey in 6-2 loss -

February 25, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 10 Providence on Senior Night at the Mullins center -

February 25, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falters in the second half, falling to George Washington 83-67 Thursday -

February 24, 2017

UPDATE: SGA announces second and third artist for ‘Mullins Live!’ -

February 23, 2017

Divest UMass and STPEC host panel on building ‘solidarity economies’ in the Trump era -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s basketball losing streak extends to 10 games after loss to URI -

February 23, 2017

Sixth annual Advocacy Day set to take place March 1 -

February 23, 2017

Panel discusses racial, sexual and psychological violence in response to art exhibit -

February 23, 2017

Judy Dixon enters final season with UMass tennis with simple message: One match at a time -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball enduring early-season limitation in playing in New England -

February 23, 2017

Minutewomen softball begins season with cross-country travel, string of tournaments -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball looks to bounce back from disappointing 2016 season -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior Hannah Murphy is Angela McMahon’s latest legend in the making -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior defenders accept leadership roles in quest for ninth consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship -

February 23, 2017

Kelsey McGovern rejoins UMass women’s lacrosse as an assistant coach after starring for Minutewomen -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to continue improving throughout 2017 season -

February 23, 2017

‘Hairspray’ national tour dances into Mullins Center

The national touring production of “Hairspray” makes a stop at the Mullins Center tonight, as part of the University of Massachusetts’ “Broadway in Amherst” series.

The plot, which unfolds in 1962, centers on Baltimore teen Tracy Turnblad. Despite her unconventional weight for a dancer, Turnblad wins a spot on the popular television show, “The Corny Collins Show.” With her newfound fame and open mind, the teen – along with her circle of offbeat friends – is sent on an adventure of romance, activism and plain old fun.

The musical is based on a 1988 film of the same name by the king of camp, John Waters. The film turned Ricki Lake into a star and started a precedent for Waters, whose 1990 film “Cry Baby” would also be turned into a stage musical.

The Broadway production of “Hairspray” opened in 2002 to rave reviews. It was nominated for 12 Tony Awards in 2003, of which it won eight, including Best Musical. The show features an award-winning musical book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan (“The Producers,” “Annie”). The music is composed by Marc Shaiman with lyrics by both Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

“Hairspray” played on Broadway for nearly seven years, an extremely successful run for today’s day-and-age where year-old shows are considered unique. The show made Broadway history as the first successful production starring a plus-size actress. There have been curvaceous lead actors in the past, but before “Hairspray,” Broadway roles were not written with that body type in mind.

“I think Hairspray found a fun, exciting and beautiful way to tribute the human body in any shape, age, color or other dimension,” said Carly Jibson, who played Tracy in both the national tour and on Broadway.

Since “Hairspray” started the trend, many roles have gone to heavier actors. Well-received shows by critics and audience members alike featuring such actors include “Spring Awakening,” “Hair” and the upcoming Green Day musical, “American Idiot.”

While striking on the sensitive issue of weight and female body image, “Hairspray” also deals with themes of racism. Terms that are outdated and considered racist in modern times are used within the show. Still, the musical is considered family friendly and suitable for anyone.

The annual “Broadway in Amherst” has brought multiple theatrical events to the Mullins Center, including “Rain,” a Beatles cover band, as well as “Cirque Dreams: Illumination.” Andrew Lloyd Webber’s famed “Cats” will come to Amherst on April 19 and “Cabaret” will close the series on May 9.

“Hairspray” starts at 7:30 p.m. Adult tickets range from $43-$53; tickets for seniors and children 18 and under are $38-$48. Tickets can be purchased online or in person at the box office.

Alissa Mesibov can be reached at amesibov@student.umass.edu.

Comments
2 Responses to “‘Hairspray’ national tour dances into Mullins Center”
  1. Phyllis Kalb says:

    Great article on ‘Hairspray! Your addressing the sensitive issue of weight for teen-agers as well as the racism that existed (and still does exist) certainly makes the play worthwhile for all ages to see.

  2. haha, I cherish Nico Rosberg! He’s so bright

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