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Little Theatre of Alexandria Hairspray

By • Jul 29th, 2011 • Category: Reviews
Hairspray
Little Theatre of Alexandria
Little Theatre of Alexandria Theatre, Alexandria, VA
Through August 13th
2:25 with one intermission
$25-$30
Reviewed July 24th, 2011

Hairspray is a musical with music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman; book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan. Tracy Turnblad a teenager who is big and beautiful who turns Baltimore up side down when she attempts to successfully integrate the Corny Collins TV show. In 1962 this was nationwide news. Upbeat moves and spunky personalities made this Sunday afternoon musical fun to see and experience.

Tracy Turnblad the bold, beautiful revolutionary was played by Shannon Kingett. Perhaps a little slow to start Kingett warmed up to the audience in the second act and seemed to enjoy the role. An excellent Corny Collins was played by Gardner Reed. Reed oozed charisma and energy which was contagious. Tracy’s school heartthrob Link Larkin was played by Sam Jones. Jones was such a clean-cut momma’s boy who when he broke from tradition and kissed Tracy I think it shocked everyone, including Link! Christopher Harris as Edna Turnblad gave a sincere rendering as the over-protective, stifling teenage mother. Harris had a good dance number with Tracy’s dad Wilbur played by Larry Grey. The two seemed to support each other and truly care for each other.

Probably the funniest character is Penny Pingleton, the close friend of Tracy’s, played by Jaclyn Young. Young got the most laughs of the evening due to her straight delivery of obviously funny lines. Her big blond hair made Young seem all the more innocent. Penny’s boyfriend Seaweed J. Stubbs gave a lively performance. Played by Adrian Cubbage he and Penny moved around the floor easily. Their moments together not only broke the color barrier, but also appeared real. Seaweed’s mother Motormouth Maybelle also seemed to have fun in her part. She was played by Brenda Parker. Her song “I Know Where I’ve Been” was touching.

No musical full of heros and heroines would be complete without its villains. The Von Tussle mother-daughter combo played by Christina Kidd as Amber and Janette Moman as Velma was outstanding. Both gave 100% to their roles. With big moves and big voices they were fun to watch. Penny’s mother Prudy Pingleton was played by Gina C. Tomkus. Unable to look past skin color, Tomkus tried everything she could think of to keep Penny away from Seaweed. Which is what brought the two kids closer together.

Set Designer Myke Taister used bright colors and big pieces to tell his story. The stage did not seem crowded and the use of a live orchestra conducted by Christopher Tomasino kept the beat up throughout the afternoon. The big can of hair spray was a great touch for the end of the show. The Costume Design and Construction by Jean Schlichting, Kit Sibley, Joan Kaufman, Kevin Grant Lane, and Mary Strauss were bright and shiny and were well done. There were a few minor technical problems at the performance we attended, but those should be ironed out over time.

A lively show well done. It uses song and dance to make a statement that everyone is beautiful. No matter what their size.

Director’s Notes

Sometimes you have to do something just because it’s FUN! Hairspray was first advertised as Broadway’s Big Fat Musical Comedy Hit”- which we (the staff, cast, and crew) found out all too literally! In over 30 years of working in community theater, I have never confronted a bigger or more challenging show. But that said, the rewards are just as huge. Yes, Hairspray has a message, a very important truth about the freedoms and equality that inherently belong to every race color and creed (regardless of your size, orientation…. or hairdo), but the unusual Mr. Waters chose to deliver his message by smacking you in the face, in a big fat way!

MONUMENTAL thank you’s must go first to LTA for fighting to produce this how; my GARGANTUAN producers, Russ, Marian, and Rachel, the HUGELY talented Chris T. and my COLOSSAL choreographer Ivan, for his creativity and perseverance; and lastly, the VAST and EPIC talents of this cast and crew whose efforts and sweat equity have made this summer project a journey of MAMMOTH proportions. So sit back and have a BIG FAT night of FUN!

Sue Pinkman
Director

Photo Gallery

Sam Jones as Link, Gina Tomkus as the Gym Teacher, Christina Kidd as Amber, Shannon Kingett as Tracy Shannon Kingett as Tracy, Larry Grey as Wilbur, Christopher Harris as Edna
Sam Jones as Link, Gina Tomkus as the Gym Teacher, Christina Kidd as Amber, Shannon Kingett as Tracy
Shannon Kingett as Tracy, Larry Grey as Wilbur, Christopher Harris as Edna
Sam Jones as Link; Christina Kidd as Amber Reeny Eul as Louann, Shannon Kingett as Tracey, Sam Jones as Link
Sam Jones as Link; Christina Kidd as Amber
Reeny Eul as Louann, Shannon Kingett as Tracey, Sam Jones as Link

Photos by Doug Olmsted

Cast

  • Tracy Turnblad: Shannon Kingett
  • Penny Pingleton: Jaclyn Young
  • Corny Collins: Gardner Reed
  • The Council Kids
  • Amber Von Tussle: Christina Kidd
  • Brad: Jacob Wittenauer
  • Tammy: Meg Glassco
  • Fender: Ryan Walker
  • Brenda: Andrea Bertling
  • Sketch: Christopher Rios
  • Shelley: Caitlin Jackon
  • IQ: Derek Marsh
  • LouAnn: Reeny Eul
  • Link Larkin: Sam Jones
  • Prudy Pingleton: Gina C. Tomkus
  • Edna Turnblad: Christopher Harris
  • Velma Von Tussle: Janette Moman
  • Harriman F. Spritzer: Mark Williams
  • Wilbur Turnblad: Larry Grey
  • High School Principal: Mark Williams
  • The Motormouth Gang
  • Seaweed J. Stubbs: Adrian Cubbage
  • Duane: Jonathan Faircloth
  • Gilbert: Roger Yawson
  • Lorraine: Maria Simpkins
  • Thad: Antonio Sellers
  • Stooie: Derrick “Blake” Hopkins Jr.
  • The Dynamites
  • Shayna: Zaria Stott
  • Judine: Amanda Corbett
  • Kamilah: Samantha Williams
  • Mr. Pinky: Scott J. Strasbaugh
  • The Pinkettes: Reeny Eul, Jody Lynn Parker, Maria Simpkins, Gina C. Tomkus
  • Gym Teacher: Gina C. Tomkus
  • Little Inez: Jody Lynn Parker
  • Motormouth Maybelle: Brenda Parker
  • Matron: Gina C. Tomkus

The Hairspray Band

  • Conductor: Christopher A. Tomasino
  • Reed: Dana Gardner, Mila Weiss
  • Trumpet: Terry Bradley, Paul weiss
  • Trombone: Chris Bradley, Scott Friday, Bill Wright
  • keyboards: Walter McCoy, Julio Diaz, David Maley
  • Guitar: Rick Peralta
  • Bass: David Burrelli
  • Drums: Matt Hardy

Crew

  • Producers: Marian Holmes, Russell Wyland
  • Assistant Producer: Rachel Alberts
  • Director: Sue Pinkman
  • Music Director: Christopher A. Tomasino
  • Audition and Rehearsal Pianist: Walter McCoy
  • Choreographer: Ivan Davila
  • Assistant Choreographer: Hayley North
  • Dance Captains: Amanda Corbett, Reeny Eul, Ryan Walker
  • Stage Managers: Jennifer Lyman, Joanne Tompkins
  • Assistant Stage Managers: Michael Beggans, Jim Hutzler, Adrian Steel
  • Stage Running crew: Johanna Barrantes, Abby Bowman, Jay Cohen, Tomas Huntley, Meggie Webster
  • Set Design: Myke Taister
  • Lighting Design: Franklin C. Coleman
  • Costume Design and Construction: Jean Schlichting, Kit Sibley
  • Assisted by: Joan Kaufman, Kevin Grant Lane, Mary Stauss
  • Sound Design: David Correia, David Hale
  • Assisted by: Keith Bell, Sean Doyle, Gregg Williams, Alan Wray
  • Set Construction: Chris Feldmann
  • Assisted by: Bob Copeland, Jeff Gathers, Jim Hutzler, Peter Hyde, Dan Remmers
  • Set Painting: Kevin O’Dowd
  • Assisted by: Bobbie Herbst, Mary Hutzler, Leslie Reed
  • Scenic Painting: Kathy Rieder
  • Assisted by: Sabrina Begley, Maggie Cotter
  • Set Decoration: Marian Holmes, Russell Wyland
  • Master Electrician: Dan Remmers
  • Assisted by: Eileen Doherty, Jim Hartz, Kira Hogan, Michele Klecha, Rachel Lau, Pam Leonowich, Michael J. O’Connor, Doug Olmsted, Nancy Owens, Donna Reynolds, Dick Schwab, Sherry Singer, J.J. Stinson, Adam Wallace
  • Property Design: Judy Kee, Margaret Snow
  • Assisted by: Maya Bretell, Carol Hutchinson, Elise Kolle, Emilie Pade, Rachel Pharr, Bob Van Eimeren, Nicole Zuchetto
  • Wardrobe: Jamie Blake, Mary Beth Smith-Toomey
  • Assisted by: Leighann Behrens, Liz Blake, Pat Bradford, Dath Dillaber, Pat Durako, Frances Hopkins, Carlyn Lightfoot, Sequin Lukon, Megan Murphy, Heather Horcross, Molly Patterson, Becky Patton, Annie Vroom, Nichole Zuchetto
  • Makeup Design: Robin Parker
  • Assisted by: A llison Queen, Frank Shutts, Carol Strachan
  • Wig and Hair Design: Anna Michelle Jackson, Irene Kasotakis
  • Assisted by: Linda Embrey, Kennette Holliday, Margaret Murphy, Constantine Randal
  • Rigging: Russell Wyland
  • Photographer: Doug Olsted
  • Audition Coordinator: Maureen Rohn
  • Assisted by: Paul Caffrey, Maria Ciarrocchi, Josh Goldman, Bobbie Herbst
  • Lauren Kiesling, Margaret Snow, Meggie Webster
  • Double Tech Dinner: Nancyanne Burton, Libby and John Guinn, Jean and Allen Stuhl
  • Opening Night Party: MarRuss Catering
  • Assisted by: Mary Hunstad O’Konski
  • Opening Night Party Hosts: Lloyd Bittinger, Eddie Page
  • Assisted by: Sher Blair, Adriana Hardy, Robert Krauss, Eddy Parker, Sherry Singer

Disclaimer: Little Theatre of Alexandria provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review. Mike is also the assistant tech director for a different production of Hairspray currently playing in Chantilly.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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