Paper Mill Playhouse Announces Hairspray Cast

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MILLBURN — Paper Mill Playhouse announced casting for Hairspray last week. Directed by Matt Lenz, with choreography by Michele Lynch, Hairspray will run at the Millburn theatre from Sept. 22 through Oct. 24.

Winner of eight Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Original Score, Hairspray launches Paper Mill Playhouse’s 2010-2011 season, aerosol-style. You’ll tap your feet to the beat as Tracy Turnblad and friends triumph over high school bullies, racism and enemies everywhere of big girls with big hair. Music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, and book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, viewers young and old will be shimmying in their seats as they enjoy hit favorites such as “I Can Hear The Bells,” and “You Can’t Stop The Beat.” It’s hair-hopping family fun in dazzling color and style.

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Hairspray brings a brilliant cast to the Paper Mill Playhouse stage. The Turnblad Family includes: Christine Danelson (Tracy Turnblad) returns to the Paper Mill Playhouse stage, where she first performed as part of its Summer Conservatory in the annual New Voices Concert. She performed in the first national tour of Hairspray (Standby Tracy). She also appeared in off-Broadway’s Cloaked, and in West Side Story and South Pacific at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

Lee Roy Reams (Wilbur Turnblad) has numerous Broadway productions to his credit including: The Producers; 42nd Street; Beauty and The Beast; La Cage Aux Folles; Hello, Dolly!; An Evening with Jerry Herman; Applause; Lorelei; Oklahoma! & Sweet Charity. Paper Mill Playhouse appearances include: La Cage Aux Folles; Show Boat (PBS); No, No, Nanette; Victor/Victoria; 42nd Street (Director) and Anything Goes (Director). Christopher Sieber, (Edna Turnblad) a two-time, Tony nominated actor (Shrek and Spamalot), made his Broadway debut as Agis in the musical Triumph of Love. Following this role, he appeared as Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, Trevor Graydon in Thoroughly Modern Millie and Billy Flynn in Chicago.

Other principals include: Arielle Campbell (Little Inez) played the Romanian and Monaco Princesses in the international tour of Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake. West End Credits include: Dirty Dancing and Shirley in Saturday Night Fever. Alex Ellis (Penny) last performed as Penny in Hairspray at the Cape Playhouse, Ogunquit Playhouse and Maine State Music Theater. National tours include: Thoroughly Modern Millie (Millie), and Legally Blonde (Margot, Kate/Chutney).

Donna English (Velma Von Tussle), a Paper Mill Playhouse veteran, was last seen on the Millburn Stage as Ms. Darbus in Disney High School Musical. English also performed in Broadway’s Lend Me a Tenor. Kasey Marino (Corny Collins) performed on Broadway as Brad in Hairspray. Kasey was also featured in Paper Mill Playhouse’s productions of Godspell and Ragtime.

Kevin Meaney (Male Authority Figure) appeared on Broadway in Hairspray.  His television credits include: Dr. Katz, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Garfield and Friends, Rocko’s Modern Life, London Underground, and Duckman. Kathleen Monteleone (Amber) most recently preformed as Elle in the National Tour of Legally Blonde the Musical. Other theatre credits include: Vixen in Angels-The Strand Theatre, Shreveport and Pam in Urban Cowboy – Gateway Playhouse. Susan Mosher (Female Authority Figure) also played Female Authority Figure in the  Broadway and Vegas runs of Hairspray. She has appeared on television in The L Word, Without a Trace, View From Top, and Cashino.

Constantine Rousouli, (Link) a Paper Mill Playhouse Summer Conservatory alumnus, returns to Paper Mill Playhouse following his Broadway debut as Link in Hairspray. Caliaf St. Aubyn (Seaweed) played Levee in August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. NaTasha Yvette Williams (Motormouth Mabel) appeared on Broadway in the role of Sofia in The Color Purple and at Paper Mill Playhouse in Ain’t Misbehavin’.

Rounding out the Hairspray cast are: Callan Bergmann, Iris Burrus, Brittany Conigatti, Willie Dee, Shelese Franklin, Deidre Haren, Tyrick Wiltez Jones, Anthony Johnson, Kyshawn K. Lane, Christopher Messina, Nicole Powell, Alex Rolecek, Rashidra Scott, Dani Spieler, Beth Cheryl Tarnow, Laurie Veldheer, and Jake Wilson.

“We are thrilled to welcome back to the Paper Mill Playhouse Stage two former Summer Musical Theater Conservatory students who have had great success on and off Broadway,” says Paper Mill Playhouse’s Producing Artistic Director Mark S. Hoebee. “Christine Danelson (Tracy) and Constantine Rousouli (Link) are now professional actors returning to the theater that nutured their talent. This is personally endearing to me and a testament to the world class arts education programs at Paper Mill Playhouse.”

Michael Allen will serve as Set Coordinator. Costume Coordinator is Brian Hemesath. Lighting Design is by Paul Miller. Sound Design is by Randy Hansen. Mark Adam Rampmeyer is the Hair and Wig designer.  Tom Helm will serve as Music Supervisor. Production Stage Manager is Thomas J. Gates.

Single tickets are now on sale and range in price from $25 to $92. Student rush tickets are $25 and are available the day of performance in person with current student ID.  Tickets may be purchased by calling 973-376-4343, or at the Paper Mill Box Office on Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at Paper Mill Playhouse’s new website: www.papermill.org. Family Week is Sept. 22 through Sept. 26 and during this period children’s tickets are half off the regular price (certain restrictions apply).

In conjunction with Hairspray, Paper Mill Playhouse announced a series of free audience enrichment activities including: The Director’s Viewpoint, Sept. 22 at 6pm, Conversation Club, every Thursday evening at 6pm and Q & A With the Cast on Oct. 16 following the matinee. Visit www.papermill.org for more details on Paper Mill Playhouse’s Free Audience Enrichment Activities.

Celebrate the opening of the 2010-2011 season at The Hairspray Blowout Bash held in Taylor Park and Main Street in Downtown Millburn on Sunday, Sept. 19 from 1 until 5 p.m.  This is a free, fun-filled event for the entire family featuring; games, rides, contests, music and more.


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