How about Hairspray? Tech Rehearsal Starts Countdown to Friday’s Opening Night

Cast and crew for Suzart's Hairspray await direction from the stage manager

Dr. Alan Viau has been performing weddings and other life celebrations in Ottawa since 2004. On his own blog, he compiles useful tips on what’s gone well and what to watch for based on the hundreds of weddings he’s conducted in the National Capital Region. He’s also a part-time theatre buff!

The set is placed and 'spiked' for Hairspray

Suzart — a non-profit, charitable and local theatre group — is presenting Hairspray this weekend at St. Paul’s High School. It’s a great way to see a Broadway smash hit done in a family-friendly, affordable way. And all featuring local talent to boot.

Picture this: It’s 1962 and teenagers Tracy Turnblad and her friend Penny Pingleton are watching the Corny Collins show. When the chance to dance on the show arrives, Tracy quickly takes the opportunity. Not only does her dancing skills attract Corny Collins, but also the attention of teenage heart throb, Link Larkin. But not everyone is happy with the decision to have her dance on the show. The shows manager, Velma von Tussle will do anything to get Tracy off the show, even if it has to include Tracy’s parents of new friends Seaweed and Motormouth Maybelle.

Hairspray's director closely examines what the stage will look like

Tuesday was technical rehearsal, which is the only chance that the technical crew has to tweak the lights, sound and ‘spike’ the stage for the show. The transitions from scene to scene are mapped out in all aspects. For the actors, this is a very difficult rehearsal because they are asked to perform their parts in bits. The bits are the transitions from one cue to another that the stage manager calls. The stage manager will call out the cue in the show that they want mapped out and sets are moved, placed and marked on stage based on the directors input.

Meanwhile a flurry of activity is taking place all around the theatre. Sound quality and mics are being checked. The lighting plot is being programmed into the computer. Costumes are checked for a final fitting. And sets are secured or given a final touch up of paint. There is a sense of urgency to get things done. But there is still time for some kidding around.

Check out these behind-the-scenes shots from Tuesday’s tech rehearsal:

Checking the sound, lighting and mics

Final costume fittings before the curtain drops on Hairspray Friday

Final touch-ups to the set ... and the props ... for Hairspray

As the saying goes, the show must go on. And on Friday night, the curtain goes up and all must be ready. It’s gonna be a fabulous show well worth attending. We hope to see you there.

Suzart will be performing Hairspray on:

December 9-10, 2011 7:00 p.m.
December 10-11, 2011 2:00 p.m.

VenueSt Paul High School
Location: 2675 Draper Ave. (near the northwest corner of Baseline and Greenbank)

Thanks, Alan! Sounds like a fun night out and a chance to see some true local stars! If you’re interested in tickets, visit for more information.