The hit musical “Hairspray,” winner of eight Tony Awards, came to Gilbert’s Hale Centre Theatre Friday, July 5 and runs through Saturday, Aug 24.
Change is in the air in 1960s Baltimore, and queen-sized teen Tracy Turnblad is ready for it. Her plus size proves no obstacle to winning a spot on “The Corny Collins Show,” a local TV dance program. It may not be “American Bandstand,” but it nevertheless turns her into an overnight celebrity. She not only sings and dances up a storm, triumphing over the current dance queen and her scheming mother, but also uses her newfound influence to promote integration and fair play.
With book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, music by Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Shaiman and Scott Wittman, “Hairspray” is based on the 1988 John Waters film of the same name. The play opened on Broadway August 15, 2002, and ran for 2642 performances, closing on January 4, 2009. A 2007 movie version starred John Travolta as Edna Turnblad, Tracy’s mother, with Nikki Blonsky as Tracy.
Award-winning actor, dancer, director and choreographer Cambrian James will both direct and choreograph the Hale’s production of “Hairspray.” In addition, he takes on the role of Edna Turnblad. Last seen at the Hale as Daddy Warbucks in “Annie,” James also starred in the Hale’s “Crazy for You” and directs and choreographs at numerous Valley theaters, including Desert Stages and Valley Youth Theatre.
Musically directing “Hairspray” is Lincoln Wright, who also musically directed the Hale’s presentation of “The Secret Garden” and “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” Wright serves as company pianist for Ballet Etudes and has composed music for several productions, among them “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” for which he won an AriZoni award for best original music.
Appearing as Tracy Turnblad is Megan Power, who also played the part in Mesa Enclore Theatre’s production and for which she received an AriZoni nomination for Best Actress. Power made her Hale debut as Doris in “Damn Yankees.” She holds a Bachelor of Arts in theater from Arizona State University’s Herberger College of the Arts.
For a complete list of cast and crew, click here.
Show times are Thursdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Reservations may be made online or by calling the box office at (480) 497-1181. The Hale Centre Theatre is located in Gilbert, Ariz., at 50 W. Page Ave.
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