George Wendt from Cheers, comedian Paul Vogt and Tony-winning Broadway actress Beth Leavel are among the performers who will join narrator John Waters in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s “semi-staged” production of Hairspray: In Concert next month.
Laura Marie Rondinella will make her BSO debut in the starring role of Tracy Turnblad.
The BSO today announced the full cast for the production, which will run from June 2 to 5. There will be performances at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore and the Music Center at Strathmore in north Bethesda.
Part of the BSO’s Centennial season, Hairspray: In Concert will be performed Thursday, June 2 at The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane in north Bethesda, and on Friday, June 3, Saturday, June 4, and Sunday, June 5 in Baltimore at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral Street in Baltimore.
The story follows Tracy Turnblad, a Baltimore teenager who dreams of becoming one of “the nicest kids in town” on a local TV show and changes the world in the process. NBC TV chose Hairspray for a live television production this fall.
“Hairspray is a perfect fit for the BSO’s 100th anniversary season, and we are proud to present this encore performance,” said BSO Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly. “No musical says ‘Baltimore’ more than Hairspray, and local audiences loved it when we presented it the first time in 2013. Even though Hairspray, in its film form, has been around for 30 years, the story continues to appeal to new and younger audiences with its relevant themes of diversity and acceptance.”
Hairspray: In Concert is a full symphonic production of the film’s Broadway adaptation, which won eight Tony Awards in 2003, including Best Musical. Baltimore native John Waters, who wrote, produced and directed the original 1988 Hairspray film, serves as narrator.
BSO Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly has assembled a cast that includes Broadway, film and TV personalities (several of whom are back from the 2013 production) for the June performances.
The 2016 cast includes:
· Laura Marie Rondinella makes her BSO debut in the starring role of Tracy Turnblad.
· Paul Vogt, who played Tracy’s mother Edna Turnblad on Broadway as well as in the BSO’s 2013 production, will reprise his role.
· George Wendt, best known for his role as “Norm” on Cheers, and who also played Edna Turnblad on Broadway, will make his BSO debut in the role of Wilbur Turnblad.
Beth Leavel, who won a Tony Award in 2006 for Best Featured Actress in a Musical, is playing Velma Von Tussle.
· NaTasha Yvette Williams returns from the 2013 production to play Motormouth Maybelle.
· Julie Kavanagh will return from the 2013 cast to play Tracy’s best friend, Penny Pingleton.
· Jaylan Simmons, a student at the Baltimore School for the Arts, makes her BSO debut as Little Inez.
· Matthew Scott, whose Broadway credits include roles in Jersey Boys and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, debuts as Link Larkin.
· Ron Remke, known to BSO Pops audiences for his numerous appearances with Jack Everly, joins the cast as Corny Collins.
· Kirsten Scott will appear in the role of Amber VonTussle.
· The Dynamites will be portrayed by N’Kenge (in her first Hairspray); Kara Tameika Watkins in her BSO debut; and Natalie Renee, who returns from the 2013 production.
· Stephen Scott Wormley debuts as Seaweed.
· Susan Mosher, who played the Female Authority Figure on Broadway, makes her BSO debut
· The Male Authority Figure will be played by Aaron Fuksa.
The On Stage Chorus will be comprised from singers from the Baltimore School for the Arts. There are also several supporting roles in the cast.
Nicest Kids, the teenagers on the Corny Collins Show, are portrayed by Cassie Cope as Shelley; Jennie Phelps as Tammy/Hooker; Katharine Ariyan as Brenda/Beatnik; Grace Atherholt as Lou Ann; Noah Israel as IQ; Joel Flynn as Brad; Mickey Rafalski as Fender; Christopher Kelley as Sketch.
Record Shop Kids will be played by Kyshawn Lane as Gilbert; Joeseph Perkins as Duane; Xavier Brebnor as Stooie; Morgan Scott as Thad; Ui-Sheng Francois as Lorraine; Saran Oseitutu as Dee; Markia Smith as Cindy.
In addition, there are several un-named ensemble roles, including additional Nicest Kids: Owen O’Leary, Alex DeVito, Lauren Bishop, Sophie Stromberg; Moms: Patricia Hengen, Lisa Carrier Baker, and Becky Mossing.
Tickets can be purchased through the BSO Ticket Office, 410.783.8000, or at BSOmusic.org. Rehearsals will begin the week of May 23.