Villanova getting ready for production of “Hairspray”

 

 

St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School’s production of “Hairspray” opens this Friday night and continues this weekend and next. Payton Ferrone (centre) leads cast members through one of the musical numbers during a rehearsal last Friday afternoon.

St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School’s production of “Hairspray” opens this Friday night and continues this weekend and next. Payton Ferrone (centre) leads cast members through one of the musical numbers during a rehearsal last Friday afternoon.

Danielle Lafleur and an accompanying dance troupe perform during a rehearsal of “Hairspray” at Villanova last Friday. The show opens this Friday.

Danielle Lafleur and an accompanying dance troupe perform during a rehearsal of “Hairspray” at Villanova last Friday. The show opens this Friday.

By Ron Giofu

 

Opening night for St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School’s production of “Hairspray” is this Friday and staff and students are in the home stretch of preparation.

Rehearsals started last October for this year’s show, said director/drama teacher Mary-Jo Grado, with students and staff spending at least four nights per week getting ready.

“We have 62 kids in the show on stage,” said Grado.

In addition, she stated there are also 15 workers backstage, the pit band and the construction class also involved, the latter helping to make the sets. Grado said her aim was to get as many students as possible involved with the show.

The bulk of the on-stage performers come from programs like dance, drama or music.

“Most of them are in at least one of the arts,” said Grado.

As is tradition, Villanova picks what show they want to do the previous spring and Grado said “Hairspray” stood out because issues raised in the show are still relevant today.

“The kids are embracing the ’60’s and loving it,” said Grado.

While it is time consuming to produce such a show, Grado said students are still getting their regular school work done and helping each other to do it.

“They are really helping each other out and stepping up which, as a teacher, is great to see,” she said.

Averey Meloche plays the male lead “Link” while Danielle Lafleur plays female lead “Tracy.”

“I’m so excited,” said Lafleur. “It’s nerve-wracking because it’s so close. It sounds and looks great.”

Meloche said he has had a significant part since he was in Grade 10. Now in Grade 12, to have one of the leads is special to him. He said he has also performed in Grease, Legally Blonde and now Hairspray.

Lafleur added this is her first lead in a school show but has had leads in shows created by her singing coach.

“That first appearance on the first night is always a great feeling,” added Meloche, noting over five months worth of work pays off on that night. “There’s really no greater feeling than that first applause.”

Lafleur said it will be “bittersweet” as it is her final high school show but she is looking forward to seeing everyone come together and put the show on for the public.

The show runs this weekend and next in Villanova’s Festival Theatre with Friday and Saturday’s show at 7 p.m. while Sunday’s show is 1 p.m. They resume the following Thursday with the Feb. 27 show being at 7 p.m. and the following night also at 7 p.m. The March 1 show will also be at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and children under 12. All tickets are $5 for this Sunday’s show as well as the Feb. 27 show.

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