things get hairy for the Eau Claire Children’s Theatre

Emily Anderson |

Some madcap dancing at a Hairspray rehearsal.

This October the Eau Claire Children’s Theatre is providing a fantastic opportunity to theatergoers of the Chippewa Valley with the regional debut of Hairspray. It brings to the stage the same song- and dance-filled, happy ending musical plot that one would expect from the “classics,” but until now has not been locally performed as rights to the show were only released in the last year. Set in 1960s Baltimore, Hairspray follows Tracy Turnblad, a bigger girl who dreams of dancing on the popular Corny Collins Show. Despite argument from her mother, Edna (a drag role), Tracy auditions and is cast because of dance moves she learned from Seaweed, a black friend from school. The musical follows the troubles associated with Tracy’s efforts to integrate the Corny Collins Show and her relationship with teen heartthrob Link Larkin. In contrast to the 2007 movie adaptation, the stage version features a few additional scenes and musical numbers. Cast members in the ECCT production include Meagan Seubert as Tracy, Steve Turek as Edna, Frank Moran as Link, and Michael Gamble as Seaweed. The cast also includes a vital chorus for backup in almost every song. Director Wayne Marek suggests that the most challenging aspect of Hairspray is the high volume of music, chorus work, and dancing. It’s sure to have audience members out of their seats ready to dance along.

Hairspray • Oct. 21-23 at 7:30pm; Oct. 23-24 at 1:30pm • The State Theatre, 316 Eau Claire St. • $18 adult, $12 students/seniors, $8 youth • 839-8877 •