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Monthly Archives: February 2016

I Am Tracy Turnblad

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Who is Tracy Turnblad?  I am.

Tracy Turnblad is the perky, pudgy heroine of “Hairspray,” the 1988 John Waters movie and the Broadway musical.

I saw Tracy last night–played to tuneful perfection by Kate Zaloumes–at the Titusville Playhouse.

The show is set in 1962.  I was six then, not 16.  Chubby Checker was popular, but not chubby girls like Tracy.  Or like me, who wore “Pretty Plus” clothes from Sears.

Tracy loved to dance and watched the “Corny Collins” TV show to learn the latest steps. When I was young, you couldn’t drag me away from “American Bandstand” either.  I was having too much fun.

Tracy boldly auditioned to dance on the TV show.  She didn’t let being ridiculed by thin people didn’t stop her dreams.

Nor did it stop mine.  I entered myself (!) in a pageant at age 10.  Mama, although mortified that her 100-pound daughter would embarrass herself, bought me two lacy, swirly dresses worthy of a princess.  My short-and-stout status didn’t prevent me from acting in school plays and joining our high school’s first dance team.

In the show, dancing Tracy won the heart of Link Larkin (handsomely played by my amazing nephew Alex Browne).  Without skipping a beat, she banished segregation on the dance show, too.

Seeing Tracy’s triumph encourages me to get off my ample rump and take on the world.  But first, let’s turn up the music and dance.