Foran Drama Club took breaths away in this year’s musical, “Hairspray”, on February 20 through 22. The stars of the show were Tracy, played by Samantha Martinez, Link, played by Chris Gunzenhauser, Penny, played by Jenna Lang, Amber who was played by Julia Kopstein, Motormouth Mabel played by Amber Price and of course Velma, who was played by Hanna Gerlander.
The basic plot of the musical is centered on Tracy Turnblad, who is a plus size girl living in Baltimore in the ‘60s. She watches the Corny Collins show every day and decides to attend an audition to be on the show. She is denied because of her weight but obtains a role a few days later.
She sets out to integrate the show with the help of her blossoming love interest, Link, and Motormouth Mabel. She encounters many roadblocks from Amber and Velama but Tumblad ultimately wins the Miss Teen Hairspray contest.
I attended the matinée show on Saturday and was immediately blown away by Martinez’s vocals during “Good Morning Baltimore”. It was very clear that she had rehearsed their lines and dance moves until it hurt. She perfectly depicted Tracy’s spunky and rebellious attitude and looked good doing it.
Even though Matthew Cassidy, playing Corny Collins, had a microphone malfunction for almost the whole play, he stayed very professional and in character and still belted out his song lyrics. Aside from the amazing acting of the main roles, the ensemble added so much more to the vibe of the play. They all knew their dance moves and added some comedy as well with different facial expressions. The cast put their own flare on the character.
Kopstein is new to drama club this year but definitely didn’t look new to the stage. She engulfed herself in the role of Amber Von Tussle and sang every song with excellence. Her silly body language when not involved with a speaking part let the audience see what Amber is like without talking. She did a wonderful job and I think we can all agree that we hope to see her again next year.
Also new to the drama stage is Gunzenhauser. He was perfectly cast as Link and looked adorable playing the part. He looked at home on stage and seemed to love every minute of it. His best songs were “It Takes two” and “Without Love”. He and Martinez worked very well together in these songs and it really showed their full potential.
Sadly, Gunzenhauser is a senior and will not be able to put on any more Foran plays – but I sure hope he continues acting throughout his life.
Gerlander has been doing plays since sixth grade and is truly at home on stage. She played a perfect Velma, of course. Gerlander is very good at playing the villain in shows because her vocals are perfect for it. She can belt out notes and hold them for minutes. Her stage presence is very professional. Even when she isn’t talking, you know she is playing her part to the fullest.
While talking to Gerlander after the play she wanted to say that, “I am really proud to have seen how far we’ve come in the past four years and how lucky myself and all the seniors feel to have started our careers on Foran’s stage.”
Price killed it on stage for yet another year as well. Her big and bold personality fit Motormouth’s part flawlessly. I was particularly moved when she was singing, “I know where I’ve been,” because she became so into the song that she was crying. I think I can speak for everyone in the audience during the show that she truly moved us. It is amazing that she felt her character so deeply.
All in all, it was another brilliantly performed musical by Foran Drama Club. Let’s not forget about the tech crew, who were not seen but were definitely just as important. All of their hard work really paid off. Hats off to everyone that contributed to the production.