By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

May 29, 2013

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Hairspray has been called Broadway’s big, fat, musical hit. And young artists in San Jose, California had a grand time performing in it.

The NorCal Academy of Performing Arts or NAPA recently staged Hairspray at the Montgomery Theatre, and majority of those who took center stage were Filipino-Americans.

15-year old Katherine Dori played the lead Tracy Turnblad, a cheerful, overweight high school student with all the right moves.

“It was nerve-wracking knowing that I had a big role but when we started practicing, I started liking it,” she said.

Hairspray begins with Tracy auditioning for her favorite show, The Corny Collins Show, where she meets and falls in love with teenage heartthrob, Link Larkin.

“Once you’re on stage, you figure things out and it just comes to you naturally,” 18-year old Julian Pascual, who played Link said.

“Velma Von Tussle”, the racist producer of the show, rejects Tracy from the audition because of her size. Tracy then rallies everyone to protest against the station for discriminating against them.

Elvie Teodoro, a Filipina, founded the non-profit group, NAPA, a few years ago, with the goal of nurturing the musical and artistic talents of young people.

NAPA has also supported ABS-CBN Foundation’s Bantay Bata program, through their shows’ proceeds.

Teodoro believes Pinoys truly shine in theatre.

“Their theatrical performance is so commendable and they’re happy to be here as well,” she said.

Hairspray is NAPA’s first production of the year. Their next shows to watch out for in 2013 are Alice in Wonderland and Grease.

You may contact Henni Espinosa at for more information.

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