Director Bradley Watts said he saw the original Ricki Lake movie and thought it would make a wonderful musical.
“A few years later, they made it into a musical stage show, and I fell in love,” he said. “I followed the show for years and knew it was something I had to be a part of.”
Michael Coleman, who plays leading man Link, is making his stage debut with Hairspray. A 17-year-old senior at Aiken High School, Michael said he has done chorus for a couple of years but wanted to try his hand at theater.
“I would have been happy just to be a part of the ensemble,” he said, “but I was thrilled and extremely honored to get the male lead.”
Augusta Christian Schools senior Stephanie Mundy has wanted to play leading lady Tracy Turnblad since she was 12. Six years later, she’s taking the stage as the bubbly, plus-size teen whose dream to be on The Corny Collins Show becomes something bigger in the early days of desegregation.
“Hairspray is very fun and a little silly, but it deals with real issues at the same time,” she said. “Tracy is a lot like me, someone who just wants to do what’s right.”
Michael said the show “takes something that’s so serious and puts it in a funny light so people will listen to the message.”
“Hairspray shows that no matter what shape, size or color you are,” Watts said, “you can succeed, as long as you are true to yourself. It’s about more than race; it’s about acceptance, really.”
Hairspray begins its three-week run Friday, Sept. 6, at Aiken Community Playhouse, 126 Newberry St. SW. Tickets cost $10-$25. For more information, call (803) 648-1438 or go to aikencommunityplayhouse.com.