AOLG 2018 spring production highlights youth’s stand on racism and violence

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“You can’t stop the beat” with the AOLG Cast of “Hairspray: the Broadway Musical.” AOLG Principal Mrs. Mary Meeks, center, portrays Edna Turnblad in the 2018 spring production. (Photo courtesy of AOLG)

For the Umatuna Si Yu’os

The Academy of Our Lady of Guam’s (AOLG) 2018 spring production, “Hairspray: The Broadway Musical,” brought to stage the critical concern to stamp out racism and violence. This award-winning musical based on the 1988 John Waters film is a family-friendly musical, piled bouffant-high with laughter, romance and deliriously tuneful songs and is unstoppable in its promotion of anti-racial discrimination and violence awareness.

“Hairspray” features vibrant young characters unafraid to take action in what they believe is right. The show’s catchy 1960s-style dance music in AOLG’s spring show is timely and relevant in that the show’s message parallels the recent event “March for Our Lives” — a youth protest by 1.2 million strong who marched for ending gun violence. 

While the Broadway musical deals with young characters fighting against racial and other forms of discrimination, “March for Our Lives” involved young individuals protesting for legal reform.

Characters from the play, “Hairspray: the Broadway Musical,” hold protest signs against racism during a song and dance number at one of the shows at the AOLG Ysrael Fine Arts Auditorium. (Photo courtesy of AOLG)

Overall, the school’s musical show garnered positive feedback from the audience. AOLG senior Julia Adonay expressed her appreciation with the following remarks, “Before, I only ever knew ‘Hairspray’ by name and select songs. I never knew what the plot or overarching message was and had no desire to find out. However, after working with the administration and cast of the production, I found a deeper appreciation for the musical and its message.

“It was absolutely a stunning play, far better than I expected. They worked tirelessly for weeks on end to give a stellar performance and they delivered. The show was a great success and I am glad that I was able to be a part of it.”

The musical show was held at the AOLG Ysrael Fine Arts Auditorium from April 12 to 15, 2018. The show’s executive director was AOLG president Sister Angela Perez of the Religious Sisters of Mercy, with Mr. Benjie Diola as director. 

In addition, Mrs. Nina Terlaje served as the school production’s musical director, Max Ronquillo Jr. as the band director, and Dominique Cabral Atienza as the choreographer. Everyone was thrilled to see AOLG principal Mrs. Mary Meeks perform as Edna.

(Photo courtesy of AOLG)

The Broadway show cast who did an excellent job include Yvonne Perez and Jovelle Alcantara alternating as Tracy Turnblad, Alyssa Dela Cruz as Penny Pingleton, Christopher Santos as Corny Collins, John Capulong as Wilbur Turnblad, Mariana Tamayo as Velma Von Tussle, Lara Tjernagel as Amber Von Tussle, Kraig Guerrero as Link Larkin, Brianna Cabrera as Prudy Pingleton, Sophia Fernandez and Jan Malig-on alternating as Little Inez, Raniel Esturas and Luke Terlaje alternating as Seaweed J. Stubbs, Marianna Hernandez as Motormouth Mabel, Rainier Tanalgo as Harriman F. Spritzer, Naomi Grace Perez as matron and gym teacher, Janna Malig-on as the principal and Peter Constantino as Mr. Pinky. Kudos to AOLG for a successful spring production that was not only entertaining but also socially relevant!

Information and photos courtesy of AOLG