LAKEWOOD — Join some of 'The Nicest Kids in Town' and travel back to the 1960s with the Preston Area School for their production of Hairspray, Jr. this weekend.
The show follows teenager Tracy Turnblad on her journey to become a featured dancer on the Corny Collins Show.
After earning a spot, she uses her newfound fame to fight against racial segregation and become involved with the Civil Rights movement.
'You Can't Stop the Beat' of the score presented by the talented cast of middle school students, says Music Teacher and Director Erin Canedy.
Attendees are sure to sing along with hits like 'Welcome to the Sixties' and 'The Big Dollhouse'.
Canedy said working with the talented group of around 30 cast and crew has been a fun and rewarding experience.
“The kids are really, really excited,” she said. “I catch them singing songs they aren't even in,” adding that the group of musically inclined students “...are so eager to participate.”
A favorite song of the cast is 'Without Love', which the students sing all the time, Canedy said.
Her choice of production was influenced by a variety of factors, one being that Hairspray, Jr. isn't a musical presented often in the area.
“We picked it because the music is really fun, and because of the cultural significance,” she explained. “It's a great teaching opportunity.”
Canedy said another great aspect of the show is the large cast allows for her to give every student a chance to be in a scene.
While the production space may be modest in size, Canedy and Co-Director Jason Smith were able to make the most of what is available with an interesting solution.
A rotating, triangle-shaped stage was constructed that allows the presentation to have three sets available instead of just one, maximizing the available space.
“This is our second year working together,” she said, “and we're always trying to figure out ways to make it work on a small stage.”
Parents and crew picked up their brushes and helped paint the set to take theater-goers to 1960s Baltimore.
Canedy encourages even those who think they don't like the show to come on out and give it a chance.
“It's a really fun show, with a really great theme,” she said. “You'll love seeing the kids perform. It's just a fun night out.”
She extended her thanks to Platform Industries for supply the t-shirts for the cast, along with the dedicated group of parents that helped along the way.
Join the Preston Area School for Hairspray, Jr., set for April 12 and 13 at 7 p.m.
Admission is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for students with children under five admitted free.