The exciting and spunky musical “Hairspray” is coming your way!
Winning eight Tony Awards in 2003 and captivating audiences across the country, the show is set in the 1960s, following funky plus-size teen Tracy Turnblad — whose only desire is to sing and dance on “The Corny Collins Show.”
Her mother, Edna Turnblad (Clayton King), turns on her TV one afternoon to see Tracy — against Edna's wishes — dancing and singing along with the stars on the show. Tracy transforms from social outcast into one of the most popular girls around town, and she uses her newfound popularity to advocate for social change.
If you aren't familiar with "Hairspray," you may be wondering why King, a man, is playing Edna. It's tradition that a male actor play Edna, according to John Waters, who directed the 1988 film version. But it's not a drag role, he said. John Travolta, for example, who played Edna in the 2007 film version of "Hairspray," told the New York Times that the role "had to be something I could ... disappear in."
As for King's portrayal of Edna, he describes her as “comic relief” — but also as the "timeless" character who discovers she is just as worthy of love as the next “slender girl.”
Through his performance (and his sore feet), King quips that he has developed “amazing respect for women who wear high heels of any height.”
King says audiences are most attracted to the great music and story line of the show. The main theme, he says, is one of acceptance.
“Every storyline ultimately finds its way back to this. Acceptance of others, and acceptance of self.”
While he hopes the audiences leave the show feeling entertained, King wants them to leave thinking about that message, pointing out that the plot focuses on “race relations (and) self-image love, all which our world constantly grapples with.”
If you go
Town Theatre presents "Hairspray"
WHEN: 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays from Friday, May 11, through Saturday, May 26.
WHERE: Town Theatre, 1012 Sumter St.
TICKETS: $25; $20, seniors 60 and older, full-time college students, active-duty military service members; $15, youth 17 and younger.