EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWS"Hairspray" Brings Down The Curtain This Weekend Ending Theatre's 20-Year Run
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Kennie Bass
Videographer: Kenneth Barnette
Web Producer: Kennie Bass
Reported: Jul. 26, 2013 12:35 PM EDT
Updated: Jul. 26, 2013 12:53 PM EDT
Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia
As Huntington Outdoor Theatre brings down the curtain on a 20-year run, the organization chose "Hairspray" as its final production.
The musical attracted talent from far beyond Cabell County. Jessica Cooper's Tracy Turnblad is the star of the show. It's the second time the Capital City resident has tackled the role. The first was with the Charleston Light Opera Guild.
"I love theater," Cooper said. "And this is my second time playing the part. I just love it so much that I decided the hour was worth it. And Helen has bent over backwards to accomodate us so it's been worth it."
Cooper is joined in the cast by another Charleston resident who was also in the Light Opera Guild's version of "Hairpsray." Veteran actress Brynna Horswell previously played Penny Pingleton. This time around she's portraying the villainous Amber Von Tussle.
"I've always wanted to do a show with Huntington Outdoor Theatre ever since I first heard about the theatre," Horswell said. "And then when I found out their doing "Hairpsray," I've already done it once before and I'm in love with the show. And so, another chance to do the show and do it here, I couldn't pass it up.
A Kentucky thespian is making H.O.T.'s final show his West Virginia debut. Lexington's Evan Sullivan is a commonwealth theater veteran with many starring roles on his resume'. He stepped in when H.O.T. was having a difficult time casting teen heartthrob Link Larkin.
"Coming up here and meeting all of these new people," Sullivan said. "Helen has really created a family atmosphere up here which I didn't know what I was getting into when I signed on. But, the people are great, they're welcoming. Here's this guy from out of town that they have welcomed with open arms to come and in say hey, come play with us. I've had a blast doing it."
H.O.T.'s founder and director says "Hairspray's" message of inclusion, acceptance and equality is a perfect way for Huntington Outdoor Theatre to take its final bow.
"It's about what's right," Helen Freeman said. "The right things that you should do in the world. You should get rid of prejudice and racism and love people for who they are, not the color or their skin or the religion that they are."
Huntington Outdoor Theatre presents its final production "Hairspray"
Ritter Park Amphitheatre
Friday July 26, Saturday July 27 and Sunday July 28
Gates open at 6:30 p.m. The "Disney Extravaganza" preshow begins at 7:00 p.m., the community preshow follows immediately after with "Hairspray" taking the stage at 8:30 p.m.
Tickets $15 Adult / $13 Seniors (65+) and Kids (5-12). Kids under 5 free. Groups of 20 tickets or more are $12 per ticket. Tickets are available at the gate on show nights.
Tracy Turnblad - Jessica Cooper
Corny Collins - Ryan Hardiman
Edna Turnblad - Levi Kelley
Penny Pingleton - Christin Gerwig
Velma Von Tussle - Candy Howard
Amber Von Tussle - Brynna Horswell
Link Larkin – Evan Sullivan
Seaweed J. Stubbs - Barry Westmoreland
Little Inez - Sarah Williams
Motormouth Maybelle - Rhonda Joplin
Wilbur Turnblad - Kennie Bass
Prudy Pingleton - Aliza Wucher
Principal/Mr. Spritzer/Mr. Pinky - Todd Green
The Nicest Kids In Town
Gilbert - Joey Keith
Lorraine - Hannah Spurlock
Mary - Hayley Spurlock
Judine - Lillie Bodie
Kamilah – Christina Stradwick
Shayna - Shayla Nicholas
Children's Preshow: Disney Extravaganza!
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