BY HAGAR BARUCH / AJT //

Alpharetta High School (AHS) presents the musical “Hairspray” March 14 in the AHS auditorium. Senior Abby Flaxer stars as Tracy, a 1960s teen eager to sing and dance on her favorite TV show.

Abby Flaxer is “Tracy” in Alpharetta High’s production of “Hairspray.” PHOTO / Alpharetta High School

Abby Flaxer is “Tracy” in Alpharetta High’s production of “Hairspray.” PHOTO / Alpharetta High School

“I think the best part about being Tracy is that she’s so outgoing and she’s so passionate about what she does, and I can relate to that a lot,” Flaxer, now on her third musical at Alpharetta, said.

She is not new to central roles – having played leads in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” for Webb Bridge Middle School, in “Rent” for the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta and in “Edges,” also for the JCC) – but this will be her first time taking the spotlight at AHS.

“I’m not so nervous [about playing the lead], but more excited,” Flaxer said. “I think the nerves are going to hit when the curtain rises.”

Though she’s the key character, Abby doesn’t insist on being center of attention.

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“I’m most excited about all the choreography and all the big numbers,” she said. “There’s so many opportunities for people to shine, and I’m glad I get to share the spotlight.”

When it comes to the story of “Hairspray,” it’s all about fitting in. In dealing with Tracy’s struggle as an outcast and her fight to make everyone equal, the show confronts many moral issues prominent among adolescents.

Other area schools, like Milton and Chattahoochee, have put on this classic – but Abby thinks this one in particular will be a hit.

“[‘Hairspray’] is such a well-known show that, most likely, more people will come,” Flaxer said.

Not only is Tracy a complicated character in personality, she is also a complicated character in appearance. As Abby must be made to appear overweight for her character, AHS’s drama department found some interesting costumes.

“I haven’t seen a lot of the Tracy costume, but I do know that they’re giving me a butt – like two giant pillows,” Flaxer said.

Also, with the ’60s style comes ’60s hairdos, and Abby is delighted about hers.

“I’m excited,” she said, grinning. “I’m going to have this giant bump that’s gonna be part of my wig and we’re gonna spray streaks in it so I’m excited about the hair.”

Abby is eager to see all the costumes and retro style that “Hairspray” has to offer, all the better to make the audience feel like they’re in Baltimore during the Civil Rights movement. Although the show mostly focuses about equality and fitting in, to Abby it has a different meaning.

“[The show] is more than just civil rights,” Flaxer said. “I think it’s more about finding something that you’re really passionate about and not taking ‘no’ as your final answer.”

Buy tickets for “Hairspray” at Alpharetta High School (March 14-16 and 23) seatyourself.biz/alphaproductions.

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