Yolande Ramsay for Curtains Up
The Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society will be staging “Hairspray the Broadway Musical”, the Tony-award winning show based on the 1988 John Waters’ film “Hairspray”, with music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan.
“Hairspray the Broadway Musical” tells the story of Tracy Turnblad, a spunky teenage girl, who dreams of dancing on a popular TV show and then becomes involved in a more serious cause. Set in the 1960’s, the show examines issues of racism, self-esteem, the power of community, family, friendships, and love. The Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society received the Montreal English Theatre Award (META) for Outstanding Community Theatre Production for “Hairspray the Broadway Musical”. Curtain’s UP spoke to Producer and Côte Saint-Luc City Councillor Mitch Brownstein, who will be playing the role of “Wilbur”.
In your opinion, what is the message ‘Hairspray’ is trying to convey?
The show has a message of tolerance and acceptance for all types of people, different races, body types, and sexuality. It is about celebrating diversity and making the world a better place for accepting our differences. It gives a great message for all to be proud of whom they are.
Would you say the subject still pertinent today?
Absolutely. The issue of integration still exists. We see the problems between people worldwide. We see genocides and religious fundamentalism that exists in the world. We hear what is happening in the US with respect to police brutality. The issues have not disappeared.
We live in a free and democratic society and we can express ourselves through the arts. This is a great show for kids and teaches the message of acceptance and tolerance in a way they can easily understand.
Fans of the musical remember that Harvey Fierstein played Edna on Broadway and John Travolta played her in the film version of the musical. Will this delightful portrayal of the character continue in this production?
Mike Melino (“Edna”) is delightful. He is a very talented character actor. This is his second production with Côte Saint-Luc Drama Society. I will play Edna’s husband (“Wilbur”).
What makes this production stand out?
The reason we won the META award is that director, Anisa Cameron, creates big Broadway style -productions. You don’t see a show in Montreal with that much energy, with a 32-member cast and a 7-piece live band. Musical Director David Terriault and Choreographer Alexia Gourd bring magic on the stage.
What can the audience expect with the show?
You will be entertained from the moment it starts until the end. You will have a big smile on your face from beginning to end.
“Hairspray” will show from Thursday, January 21 to Sunday, January 24.
Showtime at 8 pm; matinees, Saturday and Sunday at 2 pm
Centaur Theatre, 453 Saint-François-Xavier, Old Montreal
For tickets, call the box office at 514-288-3161 or go to www.centaurtheatre.com
To learn more about Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society, go to their website: www.csldramaticsociety.com