The halls of John the Baptist C.S. have once again come alive with the sound of musicals! TY students took the stage on the 28th of February and 1st of March for their outstanding production of “Hairspray!”. Based on John Walters’ iconic film, the story follows Tracy Turnblad (Maeve O’Mahony), a “larger than life” teenager with all the right moves. She is obsessed with “The Corny Collins Show” in 1950’s Baltimore. Every day after school, she and her best friend Penny (Gráinne Kennedy), run home to watch the show and drool over hunky Link Larkin (Jamie Dumas), much to Tracy’s mother Edna’s dismay (played by Dylan Reeves Wasik). After one of the stars of the show leaves, Corny Collins (Michael Whelan) holds auditions to a replacement. With the guidance of new friend Seaweed (Thomas Breen) and the support of her father Wilbur (David Moloney), Tracy makes it on the show, angering the dance queen Amber Von Tussle (Rachel O’Connor) and her scheming mother Velma (Meabh McCarthy). Tracy then decides that it’s not fair that the black kids can only dance on “The Corny Collins Show” once a month, and with the help of family and friends such as DJ Motormouth Maybelle (Grace Garvey), she’s tries to integrate the show, all without denting her impressive ‘do!
It was a hugely lively and colourful affair, with sixty seven students wowing sell out audiences each night. Audiences were thrilled by the spectacle of colour, dance and singing, awarding the cast with standing ovations each night. Many thanks to the dedicated producers Ms. Geraldine McNulty, Ms. Richelle Hurley, Ms. Rachel Hayes and Ms. Naomi Nevin, who worked tirelessly to bring the show to fruition. Also, while many schools have to hire professionals to perform the music, the school provides its own orchestra, made up of very talented students from across the years, under the direction of Ms. McNulty (Drums: Michael Hickey 5th Year, Flute: Rachel Flynn 3rd Year, Bass Guitar: Conor Bogue 5th Year, Violin: Roisín Kelly 2nd Year, Guitar: Tara Sheehy 6th Year, Saxophone: Jessica Shorten 2nd Year, Keyboard: Mary Rose Walsh 5th Year and Charlotte O’ Donoghue 6th Year, Percussion: Emma O’ Neill 5th Year, Piano Ms. Geraldine McNulty). The show was beautifully choreographed by Ms. Pam McGlynn.
It was a whole school affair, with many other staff members helping out: Ms. Caoimh Ryan, Ms. Suzanne Mortell and a team of students designed and painting the beautiful set, Mr. John McCarthy, Mr. Michael John English, Mr. Tim Hartnett and Mr. John Cleary and their team erected the impressive stage, while Ms. Deirdre Brennan, Ms. Elaine O’Donnell and another impressive team worked on costumes. Mrs. Rafferty, Mr. Martin and team also sold tickets, while Ms. Helen Clifford led another band of volunteers in the make-up department. Special thanks to the following: Ann Copeland for creating the body suit for Edna, Laura Henebry for providing wigs, Emma Rodahan for helping with make-up, Laurel Hill Secondary School for the stage, Shannon Musical Society for use of the large hairspray can and protest signs, the caretakers of the school (Tim Hartnett, John Cleary & John Welsh) for all their help and time, local hairdressers for empty hairspray cans (sourced by Geraldine O’Donoghue & Catherine Wood) and to all those who contributed props and costumes of any kind.
Congratulations to all involved on an excellent show.