The Papillion-La Vista Community Theatre is putting on its collective dancing shoes for its performance of “Hairspray” at the SumTur Amphitheater.
The first of six showings takes place Friday at 8 p.m. at SumTur, 11691 S. 108th St. There will also be shows Saturday and Sunday at 8 p.m. as well as July 19-21, all at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at SumTur.org, by phone at 402-597-2041 or by visiting the Papillion Recreation Office at 145 W. Second St. weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tickets are $18 for VIP, $14 for reserved and $10 for general admission.
Jim McKain, who is directing the musical, said “Hairspray” is always a memorable performance for him. He performed as Edna Turnblad for the Omaha Community Playhouse in 2012.
“I revere the movie like no other and I love the play so that’s why I chose to direct it,” he said. “It was the first Broadway play I took my daughter to and she prompted me to try out for it.”
The play is based on the 1988 movie written and directed by John Waters. Tracy Turnblad is a self-described “pleasantly plump” teenager who decides to try out for the “Corny Collins Show,” a popular dance show in Baltimore in 1962.
Turnblad is hated by one of her fellow dancers, Amber Von Tussle, because of her weight, while another dancer is denied an opportunity because she is an African-American.
McKain said he likes the message the play delivers because it is more than just a song and dance.
“It tells a poignant message of acceptance, be it through race or being overweight,” he said. “It’s got a lot of warm moments in addition to its humor.”
McKain said one of the favorite parts of the production is the 1960s-themed music.
“It’s a fantastic musical score,” he said. “It’s really infectious and an homage to 1960s music. You have the pop tunes, the novelty songs along with an African-American element of soul and rhythm and blues.”
The cast of 39 is mostly focused around the younger generation, although adults do play key roles, especially for Erik Quam, who plays the role of Tracy’s plump mother, Edna Turnblad.
“Erik told me this was a bucket list performance for him,” McKain said. “He’s got five daughters and they are thrilled to see their dad in a dress.”
McKain said the depth of the play makes it a challenge for both actors and directors.
“It’s a difficult play because there is a lot going on,” he said. “There is a lot of simultaneous action. It helps (from acting in the play) in that I know it a little bit, but when you’re acting you’re very single-minded and you don’t often look at the other facets going on.”
Tracy Turnblad — Jessie Kellerman
Edna Turnblad — Erik Quam
Amber Von Tussle — Megan Morrissey
Motormouth Maybelle — Almeda Giles
Velma Von Tussle — Julie Enerson
Wilbur Turnblad — Kevin Olsen
Corny Collins — Jay Srygley