Hairspray: newcomer Marissa Perry to play 'Tracy Turnblad'

Newcomer Marissa Perry will make her Broadway debut when she joins the cast of the musical Hairspray, winner of the 2003 Tony Award for Best Musical, on 15 Apr 2008, playing the lead role of role of 'Tracy Turnblad.' Perry will assume the role from Shannon Durig, who will play her final performance in the show on 13 Apr 2008.

Marissa Perry played Tracy Turnblad in one of the first regional theatre productions of Hairspray at the Weston Playhouse in Vermont. Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (songwriters) saw her performance at the playhouse and encouraged her to audition for the Broadway production where she was immediately offered the understudy role of Tracy. With a few performances under her belt, and after waiting in the wings for her turn to shine, she will officially take over the starring role this week.

Perry follows four Tracy�s before her; Best Actress Tony-Award winner and current contestant on ABC�s �Dancing with the Stars� Marissa Jaret Winokur, soap opera star and Daytime Emmy Award nominee Kathy Brier, Carly Jibson who is back on Broadway in John Water�s latest musical to hit the stage, Cry-Baby and Shannon Durig who recently played over 1,000 performances as 'Tracy.'

Hairspray opened at the Neil Simon Theatre on the 15 Aug 2002, following previews from the 18 Jul. The show is currently booking to 4 Jan 2009.

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), Jim J. Bullock (Wilbur Turnblad), Niki Scalera (Penny Pingleton), Aaron Tveit (Link Larkin), Darlene Love (Motormouth Maybelle), Clarke Thorell (Corny Collins), Tevin Campbell (Seaweed J. Stubbs), Ashley Spencer (Amber Von Tussle), Karen Mason (Velma Von Tussle), Susan Mosher (Prudy Pingleton/Gym Teacher/Matron), Kevin Meaney (Harriman F. Spritzer, Mr. Pinky, and others) and Naturi Naughton (Inez).

As previously announced Ashley Parker Angel will return to the role of 'Link Larkin' at the end of April 2008 (Exact date not confirmed) and Jenifer Lewis will assume the role of Motormouth Maybelle on 22 Apr 2008.

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.

Marissa Perry

Originally published on

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