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TUTS’ Humphreys School of Musical Theatre Announces Cast of Hairspray!

 

 

hairspray

For Immediate Release
May 26, 2015

Media Contact:
Jillian Davis, Marketing & PR Associate
Jillian@tuts.com ; 713.558.2663

HOUSTON, TEXASTheatre Under The Stars’ Humphreys School of Musical Theatre (HSMT) will present FREE performances of Hairspray at Miller Outdoor Theatre with a cast that is sure to be a big and bold hit!  Winner of 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical, the family-friendly show will dance onto the stage in a memorable theatrical experience June 10 – 12 at 11:00 a.m. and June 12 – 13 at 8:15 p.m.  “Hairspray is commonly thought of as ‘that big, fluffy, fun musical’.  And while that is true, we are uniquely aware that rich themes of compassion, togetherness and universal love underline the entire play.  Our company is passionately committed to bringing this timely musical to life and exploring all it is to say ‘Hello to the Love in Your Heart’,” said director Charles Swan.

Lovable teen Tracy Turnblad, played by Carlie Sachs, has only one desire – to dance on the popular Corny Collins show. When her dream comes true, Tracy transforms from social outcast to sudden star. Sachs is a student at The Kinkaid School and was recently seen on TUTS’ main stage in The Music ManDylan Lambert will appear as Wilbur Turnblad, Tracy’s kind and simpleminded father. Lambert is a student at St. Pius X High School and was also part of TUTS’ recent production of The Music Man.  Acting as Edna Turnblad, Tracy’s boisterous mother, is Thom Culcasi, one of the two adults in the show’s cast.  He has served as the musical director for various TUTS shows including Miss Saigon, Man of La Mancha, A Chorus Line and Victor/Victoria and recently performed on TUTS’ main stage in The Music Man.

Playing the role of Corny Collins, a good looking and smooth talking TV host, is Ashton Lambert. Lambert is a student at The Kinkaid School and was last seen in TUTS’ productions of Big, The Musical at Miller Outdoor Theatre and Xanadu. Lambert was also a Best Leading Actor nominee for his performance in The Kinkaid School’s A Chorus Line at this year’s Tommy Tune Awards. High School for the Performing and Visual Arts student Sam Linda will appear as Link Larkin, the star heartthrob on Corny Collins’ show. He was last seen in TUTS’ production of Bring It On.

Also appearing in Hairspray is Kelly Lomonte, who plays Link Larkin’s girlfriend and Tracy Turnblad’s nemesis, Amber Von Tussle.  Lomonte is a student at The Village School and recently took part in TUTS’ main stage production of The Music Man.  Acting as Amber’s mother and the director of Corny Collins’ show, Velma Von Tussle, is Mallory Bechtel. A student at The John Cooper School, Bechtel was last seen in TUTS’ HSMT production of Bring It On.  She has also performed in New York City at 54 Below, The Cutting Room and Stage 72.  Taking on the role of Penny Pingleton, Tracy Turnblad’s best friend and dorky sidekick, is Klein Oak High School student Grace Nardecchia. She was also last seen in TUTS’ HSMT production of Bring It On. Jenna Bobbora will play Prudy Pingleton, Penny’s strict mother.  She participated in this year’s Junior Theater Festival on behalf of HSMT where she took part in a performance saluting Disney’s The Lion King JR.

Fernell Hogan will play Seaweed J. Stubbs, Tracy Turnblad’s classmate and friend who is discriminated against because of his skin color.  Raiya Goodman will appear as Seaweed’s younger sister, Little Inez.  Motormouth Maybelle, mother of Seaweed and Little Inez, will be played by Gerra Gistand.  Hogan, Goodman and Gistand are all students at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and were last seen in TUTS’ HSMT production of Bring It On.

The ensemble cast is composed of one adult, Jim Sullivan, and 45 students from TUTS’ Humphreys School of Musical Theatre including: Jaela Amos, Lindsay Bates, Samantha Bello, Chase Callahan, Treat Carrier, Kevin Crear, Peyton Crenshaw, Lauren Dodds, Ella Ducharme, Emily Deragon, Yamir Ellis, Nicole Fish, Daniel Fonseka, Madison Friedhoff, Chloe Heyl, Max Heyl, Luca Jarosz, Fallon Jones, Matthew Kalmans, Katelyn Kapocsi, Austin Karkowsky, Anneliese Kelly, Katherine Leverenz, Ashlyn Maddox, Miho Maeda, Alexa Magro, McKenna Marmolejo, Miles Marmolejo, Savannah May, Lauren McDonald, Jedidiah Montoya, Lily Ohanian, Courtney Robertson, Courtney Schmitt, Riley Shaper, India Sherman, Annie Shouse, Matthew Smith, Michelle Smith, Ella Snasdell, Kerry Sullivan, Keagan Theron, Aiden Wernig, Mia-Margaret Wissinger and Mia Zatarain.

TUTS’ creative team for this production of Hairspray includes director Charles Swan, choreographer Shay Rodgers, costume designer Colleen Grady, wig designer Jeff Knaggs, scenic designer Torsten Louis, sound designer Andrew Harper, lighting designer Clint Allen, associate choreographer Matthew Smith, dance captain Michelle Smith and musical director Jim Vukovich. Vukovich also served as the musical director for the very first national tour of Hairspray.

Theatre Under The Stars’ production of Hairspray is made possible by the Miller Theatre Advisory Board, Inc., the Edward and Helen Oppenheimer Foundation and The Wortham Foundation, Inc.  For more information on Hairspray, visit TUTS.com/HSMTHairspray.

Hairspray JR. will be performed at all 11:00 a.m. shows and will have a shorter run time (approximately 60 minutes) than the 8:15 p.m. shows.  Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis (there are no printed tickets for these performances). Evening performances will run full show length, and printed tickets are available for the covered seating area. To learn more about how to claim these tickets, visit milleroutdoortheatre.com/seating.  In order to guarantee the best assigned seats, a $50 donation can be made to TUTS for two seats to your choice of 8:15 p.m. performances.  Visit tuts.com/donatenow and click on Reserve Tickets for Hairspray to make a donation and save your seats today!

An extreme honor has been bestowed upon HSMT as one of the very few arts organizations asked to play both day and night time performances at the historic Miller Outdoor Theatre. The venue is celebrating over 90 years of providing free entertainment to the people of Houston, which Theatre Under The Stars has gratefully been a part of since 1968. HSMT has performed at Miller Outdoor Theatre for 18 years with family favorites such as My Son Pinocchio, Jr., Aladdin: Dual Language, Camp Rock, The Little Mermaid, Jr. and High School Musical.  

To learn more about TUTS’ Education and Community Engagement programs, visit TUTS.com/EDU.

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Theatre Under The Stars
800 Bagby St., Suite 200
Houston, TX, 77002
The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts