Monday, October 18, 2010

Starr’s Mill High says: ‘Run and Tell That!’

Starr’s Mill students Stephanie Tobacco, Dillon Roseen, Amy Docalavich and Eddie Harris at rehearsal for their upcoming production of “Hairspray.”

What gives a girl power and punch? Is it charm? Is it poise? If you ask the cast of Starr’s Mill High School’s 2010 musical production, they’ll tell you, without a doubt, it’s “Hairspray”!

A diverse cast of more than 40 students, under the direction of David Spearman, SMHS’s longtime theatre teacher, will be singing and dancing their way through “Hairspray,” the award-winning Broadway musical comedy on Nov. 11, 13 and 14 at Duke Auditorium. Starr’s Mill has gained a reputation for producing professional caliber musicals, year after year, and this is one you definitely won’t want to miss!

Spearman, who is in his 10th year at Starr’s Mill, said he thought “Hairspray” would be the ideal musical to follow last fall’s “Guys and Dolls,” “Grease” (Spring 2009) and “Damn Yankees!” (Spring 2008).

“There is an abundance of talent here at Starr’s Mill,” Spearman said. “I thought ‘Hairspray’ would be the perfect outlet for all of our students, as it would provide the opportunity for our diverse student body to get involved and shine.”

With music by Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Scott Wittman, “Hairspray” the musical is based on the 1988 John Waters film of the same name. It tells the story of Tracy Turnblad, a pleasantly plump teenager in 1960s Baltimore whose one dream is to dance on “The Corny Collins Show,” a local television dance program. With spunk and determination, Tracy wins a role on the show and becomes a celebrity overnight, all the while trying to win the affections of teenage heartthrob Link Larkin. All is not smooth sailing, however. When Tracy realizes black teens are not allowed on the show, she leads her friends and family on a march against the TV station that lands them in jail.

Starr’s Mill students prepared songs and monologues during the summer, and auditions took place the first week of school. The students have been rehearsing every day since, as well as on weekends. All told, by the time the curtain opens on the first performance, the students and their teachers—director Spearman, along with choreography director Courtney Savage, music director Christy Todd and orchestra director Dr. John Odom—will have spent more than 150 hours in rehearsal.

In addition to the student cast, professional actress Kayce Grogan-Wallace, 30, will join the students to reprise her role as Motormouth Maybelle, who she portrayed in Atlanta Lyric Theatre’s production of “Hairspray” this summer at The Strand Theatre in Marietta. Fans of both the Broadway musical and the movie will no doubt be dancing in their seats as the cast performs more than a dozen songs from the award-winning score, including “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” “The Nicest Kids in Town,” “It Takes Two,” “Run and Tell That” and “Welcome to the Sixties.”

“Hairspray” performances at Starr’s Mill are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Nov. 11 and 13, and 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 14 at Duke Auditorium, 193 Panther Path, Fayetteville. Tickets cost $10 for students and $12 for adults.

On Oct. 26, SMHS “Hairspray” cast members will be on hand for a fundraising night at Chick-fil-A in Wilshire Pavilion on Highway 74 South. Purchases made between 5 – 7 p.m. will directly benefit the musical, helping to offset production costs. Everyone is invited to attend.

For more information, contact the school at 770.486.2710.

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