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The cast of Hairspray. Photo Credit: Tracy Martin

Village Theatre's Hairspray Proves 'You Can't Stop the Beat'

There's a party going on in downtown Issaquah and you're all invited! The Village Theatre is putting on an all-new production of the Tony Award-winning musical Hairspray.

"Hairspray is an amazing show. You can't help but smile through the whole show. It's one of the funniest shows I have ever seen and you leave with such a good feeling," said Steve Tomkins, Hairspray co-director.

Set in 1962, Hairspray is based on a true event, the integration of a popular dance show in Baltimore.

"The story is about a young girl, a plus-size girl, who has big dreams to be a dancer on the show and doesn't take no for an answer," said Tomkins.

Callie Williams plays Tracy Turnblad, the girl with big hair and bigger dreams. It's an iconic role, but also one that allows Callie to showcase her personality.

"Everything is obtainable in her eyes and nothing hold her back. It's incredible to be able to step into those shows. I've been so fortunate to bring a lot of what I've learned about myself to her, and she's helped me really know myself even more and accept a lot of parts of me," said Williams.

The show deals with serious themes, the fight for equal rights, but does so in a way that's both thoughtful, and when appropriate, lighthearted.

"That's the brilliance of this show. That there is a message that is as relevant today as it was in 1962 and certainly in 2010 when the show first appeared on Broadway, but it doesn't beat you over the head. You go along for the ride, it lays the message out, and before you know it you go away with something you didn't know before, which is always exciting," explained Tomkins.

Make no mistake, Hairspray is full of laughter and joy, and it's the music that sets the tone. Don't be surprised if you're dancing in your seat.

"It continues to build and each song is better than the last song. You get to the end and you're like 'this is a world I want to be a part of'. I think the music allows you do to that because it's so infectious and you just want to be a part of what's happening," said Williams.

Callie gets to perform many of Hairspray's most famous numbers, like the show-stopping finale "You Can't Stop the Beat". But, her favorite song might be "You're Timeless" performed by co-stars Nick DeSantis and Peter Crook.

"I think it is one of the most joyous and wonderful representations of love and what it means to love somebody wholeheartedly despite flaws," said Williams.

Ultimately love is what Hairspray is all about. Loving other people, and above all else, learning to love yourself.

"It doesn't matter the color of your skin, your size, who you choose to love. As long as you are truly you, it doesn't matter. That's what I hope people take away."