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Grandview High School's Hairspray Selected Reviews

Cara Parisi
Bishop Miege High School

Submitted for publication to KC Star Online


The auditorium goes dark leaving the audience to sit and wait in suspense for the vivacious opening, and "oh, oh, oh" was it thrilling.

It has always been dance-loving Tracy Turnblad's dream to be on "The Corny Collins Show." After making her way onto the show, Tracy immediately becomes a trendsetter in dance, fun and fashion. Despite the hate she is receiving on her stance on integration, she is determined to do what is right. HAIRSPRAY was written in 1988 with music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and the book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan.

Leading actress Trysten Little (Tracy) starts and ends the show bringing animation and creativity to her character on top of her vibrant and powerful vocals. Along with his velvety voice, Noah Dangel (Link Larken) reveals the flirty, cheery love interest in him through his constant smile and rosey cheeks. Together Little and Dangel have an unfaltering chemistry leaving the audience with a smile.

Samuel Chase's (Seaweed) natural charm and suave along with his soulful voice creates the perfect version of Seaweed that swoons the audience from the second he steps on stage. Chase's and Adrienne Hepworth's (Penny) chemistry represents teenage love not only when they say lines, but when they are in the background being flirtatious with each other. The warm, sultry voice of Taylor Jones (Motormouth) fills the auditorium with a sense of hope and love. Her low range, especially noticeable in her riffs, is beautiful and rich. Luke Foster's (Corny Collins) ability to capture the Detroit sound really enhances the 1960's entertainment that HAIRSPRAY is all about. Not to mention his comedic portrayal of lines that lights up the stage.

Although there are dark spots at some points, Christina Rainey and Anna Mott do a good job at having the lighting capture and bring life to the scenes. Even though lighting brought a certain depth to the scene it would not be complete without the amazing set designs by Regan Johnson and Jett Robertson. The detailed sets highlighted the different settings and personality of the people that are there.

Individual props added by Anaya Woods like the records and hairspray cans brought another level to the scenes while giving ensemble actors room to create their own characters.

Though the show was very enjoyable, there are a few mishaps. It is unfortunate that the mics were not always on/working because the vocals are very enjoyable when the volume is at its fullest potential. Although having talented vocalist in the cast, at times it seems that they are scared of their voices full potential causing them to hold back. Occasionally the dancers do not seem confident in their choreography, but when everyone is in sync it looks put together.

All in all Grandview High School got its nicest kids in town to pull together their own rendition of the beloved musical HAIRSPRAY leaving the audience with smiles and love in their hearts.


Clare O'Brien
Bishop Miege High School

Submitted for publication to The Pitch


"Welcome to the 60s!" This is a period filled with swinging dance moves and peppy music, but also conflict over segregation and diversity. This production follows the story of high school student Tracy Turnblad who dreams of singing and dancing on The Corny Collins Show. She learns that auditions are being held to join the show and tries out, leading her to an adventure full of exciting new friends and speaking out for what she and others believe in. This look into racial issues and integration of diversity onto TV is shown in Grandview High School's production of HAIRSPRAY.

This show is based on the Hairspray film from 1988, inspiring the creation of this musical comedy by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. The book was written by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan. It premiered at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle and later opened on Broadway after a positive response.

With a bright voice and powerful vocals, Tristyn Little (Tracy Turnblad) opens the show with a bang! She has endless energy and does a fantastic job of putting emotion into her singing. Little truly brings her character to life and makes it her own. The connection between Little and Noah Dangel (Link Larkin) is sweet and energetic. Dangel has a velvety and smooth voice that works perfectly with his love interest character. He was very cheerful and heartfelt in his acting and also portrays his character well.

Samuel Chase (Seaweed J Stubbs) is unforgettable with his charming and smooth acting. He has a beautiful and velvety singing voice that woos the audience. Adrienne Hepworth (Penny Pingleton) is a fun comedic relief with her energetic and creative performance. Her expressive actions add a lot to the show, especially the choice of actually chewing gum. Taylor Jones (Motormouth Maybelle) stands out in the performance with her soul and feeling while singing. Her deep and chilling voice leaves the audience wanting more. Her low riffs are truly incredible.

The tech elements of the show are quite memorable. From the beginning, the set changes run smoothly. The use of the rotating set brings easy transitions with creative designs on all sides.The joke shop and record store are two set pieces that are especially well done with vibrant colors and an organized setup. Costumes are another memorable aspect of the show with great blend and color. The timing for the instrumentals was on point and the tinted lighting brings mood and vibrancy to the scenes.

Although there are moments where characters are left in the dark, it is quickly recovered. Choreography is sweet and simple for many songs. It is noticeable in some scenes that some dancers are not completely confident in their movements, but there is still united movement and energy. While some characters turn their backs to the audience in certain scenes, many work to always face the audience with their vivid actions and comedic line delivery. There are minor difficulties with mics that are easy to ignore and do not take away from the performance.

All in all, Grandview High School puts on a delightful performance of HAIRSPRAY with lovely chemistry, fantastic sets and props, and groovy music. You can "Run And Tell That!"


Joanna Rodelo
Ruskin High School

Submitted for publication to The Examiner of East Jackson County


Cans of hairspray, singing about the wonderful city of Baltimore and Corny Collins show, what is more to love about the wonderful production of HAIRSPRAY from Grandview High School.

HAIRSPRAY is about an opinionated teenager named Tracy Turnblad who dreams to be on the Corny Collins show, where all the cool kids dance! Once one of the girls takes a surprising leave of absence, the opportunity of a lifetime appears. Once Tracy takes it, she becomes an overnight sensation overcoming stereotypes one can of hairspray at a time. HAIRSPRAY appeared as a film in 1988 and was later remade into a musical film in 2007 a couple years after appearing on Broadway in 2002. HAIRSPRAY has been very successful for both the film and on Broadway. The Broadway version being nominated for 13 tony awards, winning 8 of the awards.

The bubbly Tracy Turnblad is played by Tristyn Little, who is a naturally talented singer and performer. Tristyn is a perfect fit for the role. Her execution and energetic throughout the musical is absolutely flawless. Once she is meshed with the equally talented Noah Dangel who plays Link Larkin, it creates an electrifyingly dynamic chemistry that makes the performance worth watching. This is especially true in the song "Without Love."

The snarky Amber Von Tussle is played by Sydney Walker that struts with style and makes sure the portrayal is perfect. The talented Samuel Chase who plays Seaweed J. Stubbs plays the character with ease and funny in every way. The motormouth ensemble blows the show away with their performances throughout the entire show.

The stage manager Shayla Leggs does an amazing job at executing every cue with ease, making sure every scene change or sound cue goes as smooth as the performance. The set automatically catches attention due to the vibrant colors and design. Regan Johnson and Robertson made the set from scratch and also the hairspray can, which is especially impressive. The scene changes were quick and seamless for the extremely talented stage crew Sierra Zink and Lexi Okoye.

The energy seems to fluctuate from time to time, however the energy returns in the second act to make the performance astonishing. There were also moments where it was hard to hear the actors but it was quickly fixed as they tried to project as much as they can.

The performance was absolutely amazing and I wouldn't expect anything less than amazing from Grandview High.

About the Author

Rackers, Brad

Rackers, Brad

Chair - FY20 Season


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