Category Archives: Hairspray

Get ‘Set’ for Hairspray, the Musical!

Audiences of all ages love the eight-time Tony Award-winning Hairspray, the Musical. The 1960s-style music, the cheerful dancing, the colorful costumes, and (of course) the lively backdrops make this musical one you will be tapping with the beat and belting out the lyrics for days! 

The Story of Hairspray 

Big-haired teenager Tracy Turnblad has always dreamed of dancing on the Corny Collins Show, a television dance program, but she lacks the trim waistline and the dance moves to be chosen as a dancer. With the help of her black friends, she learns some killer downtown rhythm and blues moves that allow her to pursue her dream of making the show. 

Once chosen, she works to integrate the show so that black and whites can all dance to toe-tapping 1960s music. While the musical is upbeat, colorful, and generally has a positive message, it is also a social commentary on the injustices of American society and the inequities that still exist today. 

Hairspray is a musical with music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman, and a book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, based on the 1988 John Waters film Hairspray

Backdrops To Set the Scenes of Hairspray 

Hairspray takes place in Baltimore, Maryland, and has scenes in multiple locations including Corny Collins’ television dance studio, the high school gym, the Turnblad home, and a record store. Each scene may require set changes and could use multiple backdrops. Or, depending on the set design/backdrop budget, you could choose one backdrop and change lighting and angles to change the overall mood of the scene. 

Here are some options that could be used for specific scenes or used throughout the entirety of the performance. 

center stage

This Center Stage Backdrop #2407 shows a stage with floor lights, spotlights, and drapery curtains. Use this for television show scenes or as a high school stage. 

record warp

Looking for a dance-vibe backdrop? This Record Warp III Backdrop #2318 displays wavy musical notes with floating records and yellow stars. This could be used specifically for the scenes with the Corny Collins show or as a general backdrop. 

Gymnasium backdrop

For scenes in the high school or gymnasium, this Gymnasium Backdrop #2352 shows a high school gym with bleachers, exit doors, and lights. 


If you are looking for a backdrop for the Corny Collins show or scenes where Tracy practices her dance moves, this 1950s Novelty Backdrop #2319 will bring you back to the bee-bop days of dance with the musical note scroll, jukeboxes, and silhouettes of a guy in a leather jacket and a girl in a poodle skirt.

For all 33 backdrops designed with Hairspray, the Musical in mind, visit our website and start exploring how you will set the stage for your special production. 


Hairspray the Musical Backdrops We Love 

“Tomorrow is a brand new day, and it don’t know white from black! ‘Cause the world keeps spinnin’ ’round and ’round, and my heart’s keepin’ time to the speed of sound.” (Motormouth Maybelle in Hairspray

This quote, as said by Motormouth Maybelle (played by Queen Latifa in the 2007 film adaptation ) in Hairspray, depicts the ultimate issues of racial integration, equal rights, and social justice as discussed in this wildly popular musical. Let’s explore the story of Hairspray and the backdrops that can help your production come to life.

What Is the Story of Hairspray? 

Hairspray the Musical, a comedy set in 1960s Baltimore, follows the life of an outgoing and plus-sized teen girl, Tracy Turnblad, as she dreams of one day dancing on the local television dance program called the “Corny Collins Show.” The popular program was loosely based on the real-life Buddy Deane Show. 

While initially, Tracy is not very smooth on her feet, she eventually lands in school detention where she becomes friendly with several African American girls who teach her some of their groovy moves. This new connection and friendship eventually land Tracy a coveted spot on the Corny Collins dance show where she is transformed from a relative nobody into a social justice crusader fighting for racial integration and equality on the television show. 

As she becomes practically a celebrity overnight, she meets a cast of colorful and amazing characters including the teenage heartthrob Link who was the host Corny Collins, and Motormouth Maybelle played by Queen Latifa. 

Hairspray received 8 Tony Awards including best musical, book, score, and direction. The stage production successfully ran for more than six years, closing on January 4, 2009, after 2,642 performances.

Backdrops of Hairspray For Your Production 

The scenes and songs of Hairspray follow the 1960s-style dance music and “downtown” rhythm and blues of that era and are set in some comfortable places like Tracy’s bedroom, the high school, the T.V. studio of Corny Collins Show and the hangouts of many teens – the streets of their city. 

For the high school scenes and ​​classroom scenes, there are several options to choose from including this Classroom Backdrop #2349 which displays a modern classroom interior with a chalkboard, flag, globe, and a projector screen. This would be perfect for the detention scene. 

Although the musical is set in Baltimore, this NYC Tenements Backdrop #2366 shows a city during daylight hours overlooking tenements from the roof of a building. 

For scenes at the Corny Collins dance show, this Center Stage Backdrop #2407 

depicts floor lights, spotlights, and drapery curtains suitable for the set of the television dance program in which Tracy scores a role.

There are over 33 different options for our Hairspray backdrops. Check out all of them on our site under Hairspray show suggestion