JUPITER — You “can’t stop the beat” in this big and bold ’60s musical about one girl’s inspiring dream to dance. The production, while entertaining audiences, also fulfills dreams of Palm Beach and other students who have been bitten by the acting but.
International performer Deon Ridley will direct and choreograph the upcoming production of the musical romp Hairspray on at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday on the Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s stage, 1001 E Indiantown Rd. in Jupiter.
The show will star 72 students from Palm Beach, Martin, and other counties who participate in the Maltz Jupiter Theatre Paul and Sandra Goldner Conservatory of Performing Arts’ three-week Senior Conservatory summer camp. Students in grades 6 through 12 learn all aspects of theatre such as acting, dance and voice, culminating in full performances of a musical.
“Hairspray features a witty storyline, infectious songs and dynamic dancing, as well as several important social messages,” said Julie Rowe, director of education for the Conservatory. “A musical version of the John Waters film, the bright, inspiring story of Tracy Turnblad fighting for integration teaches us all to look past the color of one’s skin and fight for equal rights. It also teaches that everyone has beauty; you don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.”
Recently seen onstage in the Theatre’s production of The Wiz, Ridley is a New York-based performer who spent five years as the Dance Captain for A New Day starring Celine Dion at Caesars Palace Colosseum Theatre in Las Vegas.
“I’m thrilled to be back at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre working with a talented, motivated group of young performers on this incredible musical,” Ridley said. “Hairspray sends an important message about looking past our differences and embracing what we have in common. I’d like to encourage everyone to come see this vibrant, fun-filled show.”
During the camp, Ridley guides students through the process of auditioning for a Broadway show, a fast-paced rehearsal schedule and the opportunity to showcase all that they’ve learned on stage, complete with costumes, sets, professional lighting and a professional theater orchestra.
“It’s a lot of work, sweat and tears, but mostly work and sweat and laughter,” said Miracle McKinon, a rising senior who attends Palm Beach Lakes Community High School. “I love doing this way more. I get to meet new people. It’s way better than sitting home watching television.”
“The Senior Conservatory is a wonderful opportunity for local teens to have the chance to experience what it’s like to work in professional theatre and perform on that Theatre’s stage in a full musical,” Rowe said.
Winner of eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, Hairspray is a family-friendly musical piled high with laughter, romance and catchy songs, including You Can’t Stop the Beat, Good Morning Baltimore and Mama, I’m A Big Girl Now. Set in Baltimore in 1962, this musical tells the tale of quirky teen Tracy Turnblad, whose dream comes true to dance on the popular Corny Collins Show. However, in order to accomplish her dream, she must use her newfound power to dethrone the reigning Teen Queen, win the affections of heartthrob Link Larkin and integrate a TV network – all without denting her ‘do!
Showtimes for the Conservatory’s upcoming production of Hairspray are 7:30 p.m. on Friday, and Saturday. Tickets are $25 for adults; $20 for children. For tickets, call the Theatre’s box office at (561) 575-2223 or visit www.jupitertheatre.org.