“Hairspray” Opens at CenterStage July 7

CenterStage at the Jewish Community Center is proud to present its first production of the 2011/2012 season, Hairspray July 7 – 24. This Broadway and Hollywood smash hit is a social commentary on the injustices of American society in the 1960’s. It tells the story of plus size heroine Tracy Turnblad (Jill Sullivan) growing up in Baltimore during a tumultuous time and her desire to become famous and at the same time change the world.


Against the advice of her shy, laundress mother, Edna Turnblad (John R. Leffert) Tracy auditions for the local teenage dance show, The Corny Collins Show (based on the real life Buddy Deane Dance Show). Initially rejected because of her looks, she eventually lands the part and dances her way into the heart of America and teenage heartthrob Link Larkin (Chad Broskey), putting a kink in television producer Velma Von Tussle’s (Annette McColluch) plan to showcase her daughter Amber (Dallyn Brunck) instead.

Hairspray was written by Mark O’Donnel and Thomas Meehan with music by Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman. Based on the 1988 John Waters cult classic film starring Divine and Ricky Lake, Hairspray opened on Broadway in 2002 starring Broadway legend Harvey Fierstein. The show won eight Tony awards, including Best Musical.  It was transformed into a box office smash, starring John Travolta, in 2007. The play features such popular songs a “Good Morning Baltimore,” “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” and “I Can Hear the Bells.”

Hairspray is not another show biz version of the well-known civil rights story. Instead, it tells its story through humor without losing sight of its message. The show does not let its African American characters drift to the background. They are the heart of Hairspray.

“The cast features local theatre professionals and several newcomers to CenterStage. Hairspray is going to be a smash hit. Audiences are going to have a blast and be moved at the same time,” said Artistic Director, John R. Leffert. “When Motormouth (Tymika Skaggs) sings the 11 o’clock number, ‘I Know Where I’ve Been’, there won’t be a dry eye in the house.”

Hairspray runs for two weeks, with performances on Thursday, July 7, Saturday, July 9, Thursday, July 14, Saturday July 16, Monday July 18, Thursday July 21, and Saturday July 23 at 7:30 p.m., Sundays July 10 and 17 at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sunday July 24 at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $18 per person.  As long as there are tickets available, there will be twenty $10 rush tickets available for weekday and Sunday evening performances. Rush tickets must be purchased in person at the Jewish Community Center (3600 Dutchmans Lane) day of show prior to 5 p.m. For information or ticket reservations, call 459-0660.

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