Caledonia musical turns back time

CALEDONIA drama students take a blast from the past in this year’s musical playing at the R.E.M. Lee Theatre early next month.

JANINE RIOUX as Tracy Turnblad

CALEDONIA drama students take a blast from the past in this year’s musical playing at the R.E.M. Lee Theatre early next month.

Hairspray tells the story of Tracy Turnblad and her rise from young “pleasantly plump” girl to TV star and deals with a variety of issues, namely integration in the 1960s. But it’s all done in a light way, says co-director Geoff Parr.

“It deals with a lot of issues in a really light way and how to deal with issues,” he says.

Makeup and wigs play heavily in turning the cast into 1960s teens.

The entire cast has act, sing and dance, and usually musicals don’t require all the actors to have to do all three, says co-director Robin MacLeod.

“Everyone has to sing and dance and act, even the chorus,” she says.

“They’ve got a lot of work to do.”

And along with Caledonia students, four Skeena Junior students are also in the play as are several exchange students, says MacLeod. A couple of grads are also helping with the play.

Janine Rioux plays Tracy Turnblad, Graeme Linton is her love interest Link Larkin, Saskia Hart is Penny Pingleton, Tracy’s best friend and Jeremy Lopushinsky is Seaweed, a black teen who draws Penny’s interest, and son of Motormouth Maybelle, played by Julie Bruneau.

Trouble comes in the form of Tracy’s arch rival Amber von Tussle and her mom Velma, played by Amanda Eves and Ida Kivimaki, respectively.

And Scott Milne is Tracy’s mom Edna.

Hairspray promises a mix of music, dance, issues, all done with lots of laughs.

For more details, see City Scene.

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