Hairspray: George Wendt ('Norm' from 'Cheers') to play Edna Turnblad
The producers of Hairspray, winner of eight 2003 Tony Awards - including Best Musical, have announced that George Wendt will play the role of 'Edna Turnblad' on 23 Oct 2007 - the character originated by Harvey Fierstein. Wendt assumes the role from Paul C. Vogt, who has been playing 'Edna' since the 30 Jan 2007
George Wendt is best known to television audiences as Norm Peterson from the landmark series Cheers. The role earned Wendt six Emmy nominations. George began his career with The Second City, Chicagoï¿½s famed improvisational company. His feature film credits include 'Forever Young', 'Guilty By Suspicion', 'Fletch', 'Gung Ho', 'Rupertï¿½s Land', and 'Outside Providence'.
Wendt recently starred in the national tour of '12 Angry Men' and made his Broadway debut as Yvan (replacement) in Yasmina Reza's comedy 'Art' (1998).
Hairspray's cast currently features: Paul C. Vogt (Edna Turnblad), Shannon Durig (Tracy Turnblad), Jim J. Bullock (Wilbur Turnblad), Alexa Vega (Penny Pingleton), Ashley Parker Angel (Link Larkin), Darlene Love (Motormouth Maybelle), Lance Bass (Corny Collins), Tevin Campbell (Seaweed J. Stubbs), Ashley Spencer (Amber Von Tussle), Michele Pawk (Velma Von Tussel), Susan Mosher (Prudy Pingleton/Gym Teacher/Matron), Kevin Meaney (Harriman F. Spritzer, Mr. Pinky, and others) and Naturi Naughton (Inez).
Hairspray opened at the Neil Simon Theatre on the 15 Aug 2002, following previews from the 18 Jul. The show is currently booking to 30 Mar 2008.
In Hairspray 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 programme, 'The Corny Collins Show' and, overnight, is transformed from outsider to irrepressible teen celebrity. But can a trendsetter in dance and fashion vanquish the program's reigning princess, win the heart of heartthrob Link Larkin, and integrate a television show?
Hairspray is based on the New Line Cinema film written and directed by John Waters, who serves as a creative consultant on the musical comedy. It features a book by Mark Oï¿½Donnell and Thomas Meehan, and a score by five-time Academy Award nominee Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Hairspray is directed by Jack Oï¿½Brien and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell; scenic design is by David Rockwell; costume design is by William Ivey Long; lighting design is by Kenneth Posner; and sound design is by Steve C. Kennedy.
Hairspray is the winner of eight 2003 Tony Awards. The musical also swept every one of the yearï¿½s best musical awards, winning, in addition to the Tony, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, and the Drama League Award.
Hairspray is produced by Margo Lion; Adam Epstein; The Baruch, Viertel, Routh & Frankel Group; James D. Stern/Douglas L. Meyer; Rick Steiner/Frederic H. Mayerson; SEL & GFO; New Line Cinema, in association with Clear Channel Entertainment; A. Gordon/E. McAllister; D. Harris/M. Swinsky; J. & B. Osher.
Originally published on