“Grab Your Can of “HAIRSPRAY” Cause This Is Great Family Fun!!”
Written By Lorenzo Marchessi
It was always an amazing and fun film back in 1988 when John Waters wrote and directed this comedy and then in 2002, for Broadway, the music of Marc Shaimen and lyrics of Scott Whittman came together to create the 1983 Tony Award winning hit, “HAIRSPRAY”. Since then there has been a movie and several continuing theatrical tours both in Europe and all over the USA. The Glendale Center Theatre, along with producers Brenda and Tim Dietlein present one of the freshest and fun versions of this Broadway smash hit you’ll ever see.
Fantastically directed by Martin Lang and with some amazing choreography by Orlando Alexander, this play comes to life with style, fashion, ceiling high hair and some toe-tapping memorable songs. Combined with the costumes designed by Angela Wood, along with the period perfect wig, hair and make-up by Byron J. Batista, you are in for a real treat that has a warm wonderful message of family and friends set in the early sixties in Baltimore, MD when there were many race issues causing problems in schools, the streets, on TV and in the homes.
Leading the cast with her amazing voice and sincere innocence that as Tracy Turnblad is Kimmy Zolozabal. Her fun and chemistry with entire cast is just a real treat to watch especially with her mother, Edna Turnblad, who is fabulously portrayed by Sam Zeller. Sam does the looks, the smiles and motherly concerns with such honesty that you’ll understand why Tracy has such a good upbringing. Kimmy really does a nice job on the opening number “Good Morning Baltimore” and then Sam and Kimmy really shine in “Welcome To The 60”s”. Pure fun!
Shaelan O’Connor plays Penny Pingleton, Tracy’s best friend who is an amazingly funny side-kick for Kimmy who also has an amazing singing voice. Shaelan and Kimmy are so in tune with their 60’s characters, it’s like watching a real nostalgic TV show. Holly Childers plays Amber Von Tussle who is the debutant with an attitude who persecutes Tracy and Penny for their size, hair and general nerdiness! They all three shine in the number “Mama I’m Big Girl Now” with each of their mothers all over this ‘theatre in the round’ experience.
Now for the Cruella DeVille of mothers there is Velma Von Tussle, Amber’s mom, who is dastardly and wicked and being played with such venomous fangs by Julia Marie Rodriguez. Julia knows how to be mean and put everyone in their place with her demanding song “Miss Baltimore Crabs”.
Michael Liles gets to showcase his amazing talents with the songs the “Nicest Kid In Town” and “It’s Hairspray” as Corny Collins who is the local TV Host of a local TV show in Baltimore. Michael’s got all the moves, attitude and groves that keep you, sitting in the audience, grovin’ and rockin’ right along with those kids on stage!
You want some soulful singing and loving attitude you’ve got to hear Motormouth Maybelle sing “I know Where I’ve Been” These amazing talents come from Reagn Carrington. She’s got the style and attitude and amazing singing chops especially when she is really having fun with her “Big Blonde and Beautiful” song too!
Now Sam (Edna) has a husband named Wilbur Turnblad who supports both his wife and daughter even through all the opposition they receive and Scott Strauss is playing him to the “T”. Sam and Scott are amazingly fun and charming when they do their song, “Your Timeless To Me”. They’ll warm your heart with a smile!
As for the kids in this production their talents to sing and dance are just wonderful to hear and watch. Link Larkin, the teen heartthrob of Corny’s show, is played by Nick Echols who does a real nice Elvis like imitation and can really rock a tune! “It Takes Two” and with Kimmy and the whole cast, sing “Without Love” and is amazing to hear Nick sing with Kimmy. Frank Authello Andrus, Jr. plays Seaweed J. Stubbs, one of the town’s local Negro boys who can not only sing but dance some amazing steps. “Run and Tell That” really showcases his talents and vocal muscles. Then there is Little Inez wonderfully played by Tyra Dennis and boy can she sing too. Nick, Frank and Tyra are simply a wonderful bundle of song and dance to watch them move, sing and dance to the beats!
Penny’s Mom, Prudy Pingleton is hysterically and prudishly played by Lisa Dyson and the overzealous Mr. Pinky, a dress shop owner, is colorfully played by Shawn Cahill. Both Lisa and Shawn are having a great time playing their persona’s way over the top to very funny results!
The rest of the ensemble with the full cast is amazing too especially when they all sing “You Can’t Stop the Beat” (as well as a few more songs too)! They include Ra’Shawn Durrell, Christa Hamilton, Jacob Krech, Lowes More III, Daron O’Donnell, Bridget Pugliese, Bradley Sattler, Paul Reid, Amy Lynn Thompson, Kevin Zambrano and as Dynamite #1 is Adia Joelle with Dynamite #2 is Kimberly Stewart!
This show is nothing but musical fun, music with a soul, heartfelt friendships and was well assembled at the Glendale Centre Theatre and is fun for the entire family. It’s about friendship, overcoming obstacles and prejudices and fighting for what you believe in in a time when doing so could get you hurt or even killed. Check them out at www.GlendaleheatreCenter.com. Really…“You can’t stop the beat…”!