Thursday, September 29, 2011

Actors' Playhouse Kicks Off the 2011-2012 "You Can't Stop the Beat" Season with the Tony Award-winning Smash Broadway Hit-Musical Hairspray

It’s time to let your hair down and dance the night away as Hairspray, Broadway’s musical comedy phenomenon that inspired a major motion picture, opens at the Miracle Theatre on October 14. Winner of eight Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Original Score, Hairspray launches the Actors' Playhouse 2011-2012 "You Can't Stop the Beat" Season, aerosol-style.

In Hairspray it's 1962—the '50s are out and change is in the air. Baltimore's Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, has only one passion—to dance. She wins a spot on the local TV dance program, The Corny Collins Show and, overnight, is transformed from outsider to irrepressible teen celebrity. But can a plus-size trendsetter in dance and fashion vanquish the program's reigning princess, win the heart of heartthrob Link Larkin, and integrate a television show without denting her 'do? South Florida audiences will be swept away by this international smash-hit musical, piled bouffant-high with laughter and romance – and enough deliriously tuneful songs to fill a nonstop platter party.

The Actors’ Playhouse production, which runs through November 13, features Actors' Playhouse's own Carbonell Award-winning Artistic Director David Arisco as Edna Turnblad, Tracy's larger-than-life mother. Arisco has a long history of acting and directing and was last seen onstage in 2004 starring as Tevye in Actors' Playhouse's production of Fiddler on the Roof. He promises that despite his varied resume, audiences have never seen him like this before!

"Hairspray is the most exciting, fun-filled Broadway musical of the last decade.  We've assembled a stellar cast, the areas top designers, and I'm even willing to dress up like a woman and return to the stage to bring our community the most joy they'll have in the theatre in years," Arisco said. "This infectious musical, even more than the original movie or the latest film release, is exactly what theatre lovers need to escape from the doom and gloom that surrounds us today. As The New York Times said 'If life were everything it should be, it would be more like Hairspray. It's Irresistible.' "

Multitasking Arisco, who is also directing the production, along with the assistance of Choreographer Barbara Flaten and Musical Director David Nagy, has assembled a dream cast to back him up on stage including Hairspray veterans Joline Mujica, a Miami-native and University of Miami Alumni, as heroine Tracy Turnblad, and Matthew Ragas as heartthrob Link Larkin. Ragas was part of the National Tour and Mujica starred in two other regional productions of the show. Hairspray's star-studded cast also features Miami-native Ronald Duncan returning home to play Seaweed, Avi Hoffman as Arisco's husband Wilbur Turnblad, Avery Sommers as Motor Mouth Maybelle, Kim Cozort as Velma von Tussle, Julie Kleiner as Penny Pingleton, Celia Merendi as Amber von Tussle, and Christopher A. Kent as Corny Collins.

Hairspray is based on the New Line Cinema film written and directed by John Waters, who served as a creative consultant on the musical comedy. With an original score by Academy Award-nominated Marc Shaiman (who co-wrote the music and lyrics for the acclaimed animated musical, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut) and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, and book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, PG-rated Hairspray will have viewers young and old shimmying in their seats as they enjoy toe-tapping hits such as "It Takes Two," "Welcome To The 60's," "Without Love," "I Can Hear The Bells," and "You Can't Stop The Beat." It's hair-hopping family fun in dazzling color and style.

Scenic design is by Sean McClelland; the set coordinator is Gene Seyffer; costume design is by Ellis Tillman; lighting design is by Patrick Tennent; the sound is by Alexander Herrin; wig design is by Gerard Kelly.

Preview performances of Hairspray will be held Wednesday and Thursday, October 12 and 13 at 8 p.m. The show will open on Friday, October 14 at 8 p.m. and play through November 13. Evening performances will be held Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., with afternoon matinees on Sunday at 2 p.m. A special weekday matinee is scheduled on Wednesday, October 26 at 2 p.m.

Preview night tickets on the first Wednesday and Thursday are $37. Tickets for weeknights and matinees are $42, and on Friday and Saturday evenings $50. The theatre offers a 10 percent senior discount rate the day of performance and $15 student rush tickets 15 minutes prior to curtain with identification. Discounts are based on availability and exclude Saturday and Sunday.

Group discounted rates are offered for 15 or more through our group sales department. Single tickets may be purchased through the box office at 305-444-9293 or online at

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