Break Out The AquaNet – Hairspray is Coming to Town

April 18, 2022

Break Out The AquaNet – Hairspray is Coming to Town

It’s time to get Corny as Broadway Utica brings Hairspray into the Stanley Theatre on April 26th & 27th. 

Based on the 1988 film, Hairspray centers around Tracy Turnblad, a talented teenager who dreams of dancing on The Corny Collins Show. Set in 1962, this musical features beloved music, and jive references that transport the audience back to a time of love, freedom, and a broad genre of music. Yet, while the beloved score of hit songs like “Welcome to the 60’s,” “Good Morning Baltimore,” and “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” deliver a tuneful array of delight, there’s a well-intentioned effort to address the social wave of change in the 20th Century.

By the mid-1960s most working-class families could afford modern appliances that included the television, which brought the outside world and its influences into every living room. It’s been said this idealism transpired a generation gap, known as the ‘Baby Boomers,’ who began to rebel against their parents’ traditional values once they became of age. Yet, it was their social awakening that created the true birth of teenage culture, where expression pioneered their identities through their choices in music, fashion, and of course – hair.

But, before we have you thinking that Hairspray is a righteous crusade, we must take a deep look inside Tracy Turnblad, the energized teenager who dreams of being on a popular dance show to win the heart of the area heartthrob, Link. Turnblad’s cute and spunky personality capture the hearts of guests, but not the heart of The Corny Collins Show’s producer who uses Tracy’s weight to prevent her from being on screen. While Tracy embodies the idea that you don’t have to conform to anyone’s standard of beauty, the narrative behind the moment is heart-wrenching for the audience. However, when Tracy’s rebellion and large teased hair land her in detention with black students, she uncovers some fancy new dance moves and realizes that her dream to dance on The Corny Collins Show is less about Link and more about the power to dance with everyone.

A positive self-image, open-mindedness, and respect for all identities is the core message behind Hairspray. But make no mistake about it, Hairspray is still all about the music, choreography, beloved costume designs, and, of course, the hair. 

As the winner of eight awards, including Best Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Book, Hairspray’s Broadway premiere has garnered national attention and even a LIVE spot on NBC. With lyrics written by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, who’ve written songs for “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “ Catch Me If You Can,” and “Mary Poppins Returns,” Hairspray has become the beloved feel-good musical that carries a bit of nostalgia and a few twists and watusis. 

Need a little Hairspray in your life? Go to  for tickets, call 315-624-9444, or visit their box office at 258 Genesee Street in Utica.

View All News Listings