Delaware County’s first professional production of the Tony winning musical Hairspray is at The Media Theatre this fall (September 26-November 4). Jesse Cline, artistic director for the professional music theatre company, recently announced the cast for the upbeat production.
Hairspray takes place in Baltimore in 1962, with the Corny Collins Show attracting the attention of social outcast Tracy Turnblad. She gets her chance to appear on the show, becoming an overnight sensation and is thrust into the limelight. She uses her newfound fame, her big heart, and her big hairdo to integrate the show in the musical by Marc O’ Donnell and Thomas Meehan. Scott Whitman and Marc Shaiman’s award-winning score includes the popular “Good Morning Baltimore” and “You Can’t Stop The Beat.” The New York Times stated that, “Hairspray succeeds in recreating the pleasures of the old-fashioned musical comedy without seeming old-fashioned.”
Springfield’s own Victoria Mayo will sing her heart out in the leading role of Tracy Turnblad, the unique teen with a vision who integrates The Corny Collins Show. She was seen in Spring Awakening at The Media Theatre and is an alumnus of Temple University where she portrayed Kate in Avenue Q and Charity in Sweet Charity.
Broadway’s William Thomas Evans will portray Edna Turnblad, Tracy’s mother. The role, made famous first by Divine in the original '80s film by John Waters and subsequently by Harvey Fierstein on The Great White Way and John Travolta on the big screen, has become an iconic measure of the show’s message and popularity. Evans’ Broadway credits include A Tale of Two Cities, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and Camelot. He has been in the National Tours of Jekyll and Hyde and My Fair Lady, as well as Harold Prince’s production of Candide at The New York City Opera.
Another actor with extensive credits, Bruce Rebold, is Wilbur, and JP Dunphy, seen frequently on The Media Theatre stage, will charm in the role of Corny Collins, a character that has much in common with Dick Clark. Philadelphia’s Tamara Anderson makes her Media Theatre debut as Motormouth Maybelle, the counterpart to Collins.
New York-based actor James Hayden Rodriguez, who played Georg in the National Tour of Spring Awakening, will be Motormouth’s son Seaweed, who falls in love with Tracy’s best friend Penny (played by Jennifer Bissell, seen recently in Spring Awakening at The Media Theatre).
Those women of means who believe their world will never change—Amber Von Tussle and her mother Velma—will be brought to life by actresses Whitney Meyer (who was Amber on Hairspray’s National Tour) and Michelle Eugene. Nathan Meyer is Link, the young man who dances his way into everyone’s heart, and Little Inez is Wilmington’s Kayla Brock. Media Theatre veteran Roger Ricker takes on three humorous roles, as does Amy Walton.
The ensemble is Anastasia Bokas, Ashley Douglas, Eyakeno Ekpo, Nate Golden, Terrance Hart, Colleen Kreisel, Mary Lamb, Christopher McGinnis, Tunisia Renee, Ashli Rian Rice, and Richie Sklar, and Denzel Thomas.
Delaware County’s first professional production of Hairspray (September 26-November 4) features a live orchestra conducted by resident music director Tom Fosnocht. Group rates are available. For tickets or information, visit mediatheatre.org or call 610-891-0100.
(PICTURED: Victoria Mayo as Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray)