By Jonnel Lewis '19
On Friday, May 3rd, 2019 at 7:30 pm, Fontbonne opened its doors to an overwhelming amount of people, who all gathered to see the Musical production Hairspray. The show sold out within minutes, filling the seats and bleachers with eager friends and family. The show began with the opening number, “Good Morning Baltimore” sung by lead role Tracy Turnblad played by Gabriella Salerno. The show was phenomenal as the entire cast and crews dedication and talent really shined throughout the entire performance. The play was directed by Faculty member, Danielle Glasser, who said the goal of the show was, “to entertain, while also sharing a historical turning point that directs us towards the possibility of a bright future where everyone is treated with equal respect, despite our differences.”
Along with an amazing cast, the crew who worked behind the stage were just as important in making such an enjoyable show. The show was wonderfully choreographed by senior Sophia Frasca along with Mrs. Glasser. It was stage managed by senior Francesca Mavica along with the help of the stage crew and the phenomenal tech team. And of course, Hairspray could not be Hairspray without music- I mean, they did say you “can’t stop the beat!” The production had wonderful live music played by Musical Director, Ray Bailey, and musically inclined teens.
The audience could not help but to fall in love with the chemistry shared between Tracy Turnblad (Gabriella Salerno) and Link Larkin played by Mark Polito. They marvelously played the romantic couple in this year’s musical, however, they’re not the only ones that stole the audience's hearts. Penny Pingleton played by Joanne Centeno and Seaweed J. Stubbs played by Kevin Rutledge moved the audience with each performance and scene acted together.
The show also brought a great amount of laughter, especially with Wilbur Turnblad played by Andrew Knowles. His outgoing, loud, and hilarious personality took over the audience as they erupted in laughter. And we can’t forget our sassy and empowering Ms. Motormouth Maybelle played by Winter Charles. Winter stunned the audience with her brilliant voice when she sang, “I know where I’ve been.” Her voice sent chills all throughout the auditorium as everyone listened intently.
Now, don’t think I forgot about everyone’s favorite mean girls, who in real life are the sweetest people. However, once they hit the stage, it was game over for everyone who messed with them. Amber Von Tussle played by Stephanie Patella couldn’t have been played any better as she brought fierceness, attitude, and tons of Hairspray to the stage. Many could say she must’ve gotten it from her mother, Velma Von Tussle played by Catherine Russo. Catherine portrayed Velma so well, as she truly embraced the character she played, leaving the audience stunned by her performance.
Overall, all four shows had been a hit, each cast member had been cast fittingly. This remarkable performance could have not have gone on without the help of everyone involved. And sadly, for our seniors, it has been truly their final bow. However, we wish each of them the best of luck in college and their musical endeavors. Good job to the Hairspray cast and crew as they proved to friends and family, that they were definitely the “nicest kids in town.”