Pic 2: BTG190421HS2 Caption: Amber von Tussle and her mum Velma think they have the Miss Hairspray title sewn up.
Pic 3: BTG190421HS3 Caption: Three sets of mums and daughters in conflict over growing up.
Pic 4: BTG190421HS4 Caption: Seaweed Stubbs shows Tracy Turnblad, Link Larkin and Penny-Lou Pingleton there's a different way to dance.
Pic 5: BTG190421HS5 Caption: Motormouth Maybelle leads the protest against preventing African-Americans from competing in the contest.
Pic 6: BTG190421HS6 Caption: Tracy's parents Edna and Wilbur Turnblad find renewed love.
Pic 7: BTG190421HS7 Caption: Show Host Corny Collins performs with his dancers.
Pic 8: BTG190421HS8 Caption: Amber and Tracey in confrontation.
Pic 9: BTG190421HS9 Caption: A very happy couple Tracy and Link at the end of the show.
Pic 10: BTG190421HS10 Caption: A very happy couple Tracy and Link at the end of the show.
By Dave Murdoch
The Dannevirke High School production of Hairspray hit the stage of the Town Hall with great energy, colour, humour, drama and dance, providing a totally entertaining evening performed by a very talented cast.
The cast consisted of some amazingly talented teenagers mostly playing the teenage roles, performing the vocals and dances with great precision and energy. They were greatly supported by adults (all staff members or parents) in the roles of adults, adding an extra element of authenticity to the show.
Star Tracy Turnblad played by Jordyn Walsh amazed with her vocals and dramatic skills, especially for one with so limited stage experience.
She was ably supported by her parents Edna and Wilbur, played with humour and feeling by Ashton Ward and Ethan Metcalfe, and her heart-throb boyfriend Link Larkin (Toby Walker), who handled the awkward situation of being the favourite of two girls and having a career in balance with diplomacy.
Tracy's rival Amber von Tussle (Lilly-Ann Russell) and her mum Velma (Lisa Lochead) played the villains of the show with real emotion, also displaying their vocal talents impressively.
Built around Tracy's ambition to be on the Corny Collins TV programme, the show was influenced by the restriction put on African- American performers by the owners and when Tracy makes the big time her efforts to integrate them into the show leads to protests and even jail time for those involved.
Leading the African-Americans were Seaweed Stubbs (Max Te Huki), his friend Penny-Lou Pingleton (Tessa Higginson) and Motormouth Maybelle (McKenzie Maru), whose vocals were among the most powerful in the show along with their acting and dancing.
Holding the Corny Collins Show together was show host Corny Collins (Tama Ruaporo) whose vocals and presence on stage were worthy of a much older actor.
The ensemble was great – dressed in bright costumes by Joy Murdoch's team, trained to absolute precision by choreographer Amy Macdonald and spot on cue. They supported this amazingly talented bunch of leads on a well-lit stage with just enough set to complement the action and good sound boosted by an adult off-stage chorus to enhance the vocals.
The off-stage crew worked well together to keep set change delays to a minimum.
Ms Pene as director and musical director, with assistance from Lisa Higginson, have pulled off a great show in such a limited time, one which will be remembered fondly by audiences and which provides a springboard for more shows in the future.