A young overweight teen uses her newfound fame of a local broadcast variety show to attempt to topple the barriers of race. Tracy Turnblad is a big girl with even bigger hair, mostly disinterested in school but obsessed with a local broadcast variety show called The Corny Collins Show. On it, teenagers dance to modern radio hits; the most famous of these teens are young stud Link Larkin and his girlfriend, the catty daughter of the station manager, Amber Von Tussle. Tracy's one complaint: dancing is still segregated, and only once a month does the Corny Collins Show have "Negro Day," a day specifically tailored for black kids who want to dance on TV. When one of the teens on the Corny Collins Show has to leave the show, they hold auditions, and Tracy attends. She isn't even given a chance by Velma Von Tussle, Amber's mom, and to make things worse, she's late to school and given detention. In detention, she meets a hip young black kid named Seaweed, whom she impresses with her dance moves. At the school dance, DJed by Corny Collins, Tracy turns heads with her notably gyrating dance moves that she learned from Seaweed. Corny and Link insist she become a part of the show, and she becomes the most popular girl on it, much to Amber's chagrin. However, when Amber cancels Negro Day on a whim due to her racist demeanor, Tracy finds herself infuriated and willing to protest the very station that made her famous, even if he costs her her job, her potential love with Link, and her freedom. At the station's announcement of the winner of Miss Baltimore, Tracy and her black friends must find a way to sneak in, disrupt the proceedings, and make the Von Tussles pay.
Best part of story, including ending:
This is one of the best musicals of the last several decades, with incredible dance numbers, catchy songs, and great performances from front to back.
Best scene in story:
John Travolta plays Tracy's mother and Christopher Walken plays her dad. Their love duet together, complete with a soft-shoe dance routine, is absolutely lovely.
Opinion about the main character:
Tracy is an idealist to a fault, but she's plucky with great energy, and she's an underdog due to her physical stature. She's a terrific musical hero.