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Hairspray: Karen Mason to play 'Velma Von Tussle'


Karen Mason will join the cast of the musical Hairspray, winner of the 2003 Tony Award for Best Musical, on 8 Apr 2008, playing the role of Velma Von Tussle.

Mason will assume the role from Mary Birdsong who will play her final performance in the show on 6 Apr 2008.

Mason originated the role of 'Tanya' in the Broadway production of Mamma Mia! and was the understudy for the role of Norma Desmond in the Broadway production of 'Sunset Boulevard' (1994).

Hairspray opened at the Neil Simon Theatre on the 15 Aug 2002, following previews from the 18 Jul. The show is currently booking to 24 Aug 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 also features: George Wendt (Edna Turnblad), Shannon Durig (Tracy Turnblad), Jim J. Bullock (Wilbur Turnblad), Niki Scalera (Penny Pingleton), Ashley Parker Angel (Link Larkin), Clarke Thorell (Corny Collins), Tevin Campbell (Seaweed J. Stubbs), Ashley Spencer (Amber Von Tussle), Mary Birdsong (Velma Von Tussel), Susan Mosher (Prudy Pingleton/Gym Teacher/Matron), Kevin Meaney (Harriman F. Spritzer, Mr. Pinky, and others) and Naturi Naughton (Inez).

The musical comedy 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 O�Donnell 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 O�Brien 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, including best musical, best actor, best actress, best featured actor, best score, best book, best director, and best costume design. Hairspray also swept every one of the year�s 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.

Karen Mason

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