Stu­dents stage Hair­spray

Go­ing ‘over the top’ with ’07 US teen cul­ture mu­si­cal


The hair and the ‘60s cul­ture, in­clud­ing mu­si­cal turf wars be­tween the white and black com­mu­nity, are be­ing brought to the cen­tre stage in Queen­stown this week with the Wakatipu High School pre­sent­ing the mu­si­cal Hair­spray.

Af­ter weeks of re­hearsals, dance lessons and cos­tume designing, stu­dents will show off their singing and danc­ing skills at the Queen­stown Me­mo­rial Hall to­mor­row for the open­ing night of the pro­duc­tion.

Direc­tor Kate Moetaua said the au­di­ence could ex­pect the show to be ‘‘stereo­typ­i­cal and over­the-top’’, like on the movie screen and Broad­way.

Af­ter wait­ing pa­tiently the school was fi­nally able to bring the story, made fa­mous with the 2007 movie fea­tur­ing John Tra­volta, to the stage.

‘‘We’ve been want­ing to do it for ages and the li­cens­ing rights just came up for schools,’’ Moetaua said.

Set in the 60s - where there were white tele­vi­sion mu­sic chan­nels and R n’ B groups emerg­ing - the pro­duc­tion would show­case a cross of mu­sic and dance styles.

Like in the movie, where Tra­volta plays mother Edna Turn­blad, stu­dent Es­mond

Hair­spray, Pater­son has been cast in the fe­male role.

The crew was made up of 65 cast mem­bers and 50 pro­duc­tion crew and year 13 stu­dent Nikau Stu­art, 17, was as­signed to take on the task of chore­og­ra­phy.

Stu­art, who has been in­volved in jazz danc­ing for over 10 years, said the hard­est part of the job was teach­ing those who did not have a dance back­ground. It was the sec­ond time she had choreographed.

While the ‘‘Cor­ney Collins Kids’’ (or the white group) had tight, con­trolled dance move­ments, the ‘‘Seaweed Crew’’ were more loose up­beat, Stu­art said.

‘‘There’s a lit­tle bit of ev­ery­thing,’’ she said.

Photo: CHE BAKER/FAIR­FAX NZ 630632826

Dance team: Wakatipu Year 13 stu­dent Nikau Stu­art, left, has been given the job of chore­og­ra­phy this year’s school pro­duc­tion

which in­volves work­ing with the Hair­spray dancers, Brehna Wil­liams and Elise Streat, front row, Nigella Wood­ham, Amelia Hamil­ton and Poppy Lake, mid­dle row, Petra Simp­son, Si­enna Stra­chan, Mad­die McLean, Bry­die Mac­Beth and Lucy Wood, back row.

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