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High School nets largest cast yet in ‘Hairspray’ production

Posted on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at 3:22 pm

Staff Writer
John Coffelt

It was 1962, JFK was in The White House, John Glenn was in orbit, Cadillacs had fins, Beehives were in, and girls really knew how to tease.

Coffee County Central High School’s spring musical is always popular but this year’s production of “Hairspray,” based on John Water’s 1988 film starring Sonny Bono and Ricki Lake, has been the most popular yet, brining in a cast and crew of over 100 students.

“This is the show that we’ve been wanting to do for a long time,” said director Jonathon Higdon. “Every year when I get suggestions for musicals that we do this is always on that gets thrown out.”

This is the first year that the theater  department has been able to do the show at the level it should be.

“This is the biggest show we’ve ever done. I know I say that every year, but somehow we manage to outdo ourselves every year,”

There are over 50 people in the cast, 20 crew members, a 20-piece orchestra and 10 students directing.

“It’s upbeat, it’s positive, it’s fun,” Higdon said. It has a great message of inclusion and treating everyone equality.

“We’re very excited to finally bring it to life,” he said.

And if the story and student cast isn’t enough of a draw don’t miss Assistant Principal Dr. Keith Cornelius who hilariously plays the mother of lead Tracy Turnblad (played by Daniella Rodriguez).


Flip flipped–

from screen to stage

Mostly it’s the film that gets adapted from a Broadway play, but with “Hairspray” things were mixed up and the film inspired the play.

Auteur director John Waters’ film was possibly his most well received. A Rolling Stone  review at the time called it  “A family movie both the Bradys and the Mansons could adore.”

Set in 1962, the story follows “Pleasantly Plump” teen Tracy Turnblad (Waters reportedly loves character names with alliteration) achieves her dream of becoming a regular on the Corny Collins Dance Show.

As a regular, she starts to use her fame to speak out for the causes she believes in, most of all integration to the displeasure of the show’s former star, Amber Von Tussle, as well as Amber’s pro-segregation parents.

This rivalry comes to a head as Amber and Tracy vie for the title of Miss Auto Show 1963.

In 2002, Margo Lion teamed with writers Marc Shaiman and Thomas Meehan worked to produce “Hairspray” for the Broadway stage The show opened on Aug. 15, 2002 and ran through January of 2009, winning eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, in 2003.

“Hairspray” will run March 9-11, 16-18 at CHS, 100 Red Raider Dr. Shows are 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays.

To reserve tickets, email