Center stage, lead actors Jessica Young and David Park practice their song and dance routine for the upcoming PCC Musical Theatre Production of "Hairspray" directed by Richard Kuller inside the Sexson Auditorium Feb 08. The show premiers Feb 20, 2013.

Sass, spunk, passion and a whole lot of dedication — these words can only begin to scratch the surface of what it takes to be a cast member of the musical Hairspray. Unbeknownst to others, a core group of students has been hard at work in the Sexson Auditorium, singing, dancing and acting away in preparation for its opening on Feb. 22.

Matt Chan/ Courier Center stage, lead actors Jessica Young and David Park practice their song and dance routine for the upcoming PCC Musical Theatre Production of "Hairspray" directed by Richard Kuller inside the Sexson Auditorium Feb 08. The show premiers Feb 20, 2013.
Matthew Chan / Courier
Center stage, lead actors Jessica Young and David Park practice their song and dance routine for the upcoming PCC Musical Theater Production of “Hairspray” directed by Richard Kuller, inside the Sexson Auditorium Feb 08. The show premiers Feb 22, 2013.

Directed by Theater Arts Instructor Richard Kuller, the cast consists entirely of students who are triple threats: people who can sing, dance and act, all at the same time. “This show is bigger and more complicated than any we have ever done,” Kuller said.

“You know what a popular show this is,” Kuller mused. “It’s got more moving parts than most of the shows we have ever done. It’s got more dances, more moving body parts, more scene changes — scene changes happen during numbers instead of after them — a lot of difficult timing, [and] we’re going to have a big orchestra.”

“This show is an undertaking, for sure,” said choreographer Christopher Curry, kinesiology.

Walking into the auditorium, one can see how meticulously each cast member practices, whether they are a principal actor or a member of the ensemble. From small groups vigorously running routines, to Kuller scrutinizing and adjusting dance numbers and songs, no person is left lazing around.

According to stage manager Kira Alemania, music, the auditioning process started during winter break. Subsequently, rehearsal began on the first day of the spring semester, lasting four and a half hours a day, six days a week, with occasional breaks in-between.

Lead actor David Park, music, who plays Link Larkin, elaborated. “[We rehearse] everyday, at least five hours a day, with a few days off. It’s been really long and tough and stressful for sure, but also it’s really rewarding. [The audience] won’t know how much effort and work went into all of this.”

Although the cast rehearsed without props, costume, and makeup, they still worked scrupulously. Even then, lightheartedness underlies the atmosphere.

“We’re all family now,” said Joseph Garcia, theater, who is playing Corny Collins. “I like the camaraderie, that’s the best part — the family part. Even better when you’re on stage and people are applauding and laughing, that’s the most thrilling thing about theater, and that’s why I do it.”

With the calendar winding down till opening day, the cast is feeling the pressure.

“A lot of effort and a lot of money went into this,” Kuller said. “At this time, in almost every show, people are feeling a bit of panic.”

“But, as the song [Another Op’nin’, Another Show] says: ‘Four weeks, you rehearse and rehearse, three weeks and it couldn’t be worse. One week, will it ever be right? Then out o’ the hat, it’s that big first night!” Kuller sang enthusiastically.

Curry echoed this sentiment. “We’ll pull through of course, we always do—that’s show business.”

Hairspray officially opens on Feb. 22 at 8 p.m.

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