My kids are fortunate enough to attend a high school that has a vibrant performing arts department. The Miller family has attended many chorus and band concerts. We've sat through many football games just to see the marching band. We've enjoyed talent and art shows. Most of all we've had the privilege of being involved in some wonderful drama productions. The musical is a highlight every year, and this year we teased our hair and got out that giant can of HAIRSPRAY!
Of course I jumped right on the chance to help with the costumes and I was honored to be able to provide pieces for Edna Turnblad herself. As soon as I was given my assignment I headed to the one place I knew had a plethora of authentic late 50's and early 60's clothing. MY MOM'S CLOSETS! I love my Mom, but I don't think she's ever gotten rid of anything she ever wore. Add to that the closets full of clothing that belonged to my Grandmother that she's held on to and you get enough stuff to costume fifty Ednas. I loaded my van full of polyester double knit, cotton floral prints, taffeta and tulle. It was amazing.
I had to start out by making our Edna a suit to plump him up a bit. Not only did he need the normal womanly additions (a.k.a boobs) he also needed the traditional luxury woman features. Plainly stated, he needed some junk in his trunk and some flab on his abs. The young man that played Edna was a dream to work with. He sported a bra like a champ and I think he was better at putting on tights that I am, since he only need one pair for the whole run.
Edna, Tracy and Wilbur
I fashioned Edna's look after my Grandmother. It was pretty easy since most of the clothes I used were hers. The first time Edna slipped on this pink house coat, he pulled some tissues out of the pockets. They were unused, all soft and linty with age, and smelled just like my Baw-Baw. In one of the other outfits we found a grocery list she had written and I tucked it away in my keepsakes. It was lovely. Anyway, I digress.
Edna with Tracy
I come from a long line of luxury women, so all the pieces fit Edna's figure perfectly. She had five costume changes in total. One was a quick change that required the addition of a long strip of hook and loop tape in the back of the blue cotton dress. That let Edna slip the dress down over her booty while the next costume was slipped over her head. You just wouldn't believe what happens backstage during a show.
You're Timeless to Me
The show was incredibly fast paced and it was so exciting to work backstage. Nothing brings the Miller girls together like working on a show and since the eldest Miller was home on break she was able to join us. She helped out backstage and painted some of the bricks you see over Edna's shoulder. Hairspray played three nights to huge crowds and rave reviews. I'm woman enough to admit that I cried when it was over, I had so much fun!