Alhambra Hairspray Lee Hamby as Edna

Alhambra’s Hot-Hot-Hot Hairspray

Hairspray has many wacky characters that will keep you in stitches. The Dual Critics had seen the road show three years ago when it made a short stop in town, but it wasn’t nearly as funny as the Alhambra version. Oh, it’s the same songs and same words, but the intimacy of the theatre makes the humor far more accessible.

Other members of the cast you may learn to love (or hate), include: Chloe Golden as Penny, Tracy’s goofy and funny best friend who falls for the very hip and smooth black dancer, Seaweed (played by the much traveled actor Desmond Newson, who graduated from Terry Parker a few years ago); and Velma Von Tussle (Kelly Atkins) the scheming producer of the TV show who is opposed to integration. Velma insists her untalented daughter Amber (Elizabeth Claire Bailey) must win the Teen Title at any cost.

Chicago actress Wydetta Carter as Motormouth Maybelle, Seaweed’s mother and the host of the monthly “Negro Day” on The Corny Collins Show, was another Alhambra crowd favorite when she belted out “I Know Where I’ve Been” in fine voice in Act II.

Two longtime Alhambra veterans were among the hardest working cast members, with both playing several small but important roles. Lisa Valdini Booth excelled in every role but was absolutely hilarious as the wild-haired dodge ball coach. Earlye Rhodes made several costume changes but was his funniest as Mr. Pinky, owner of a plus-size dress shop.

Rounding out this superb crew of energetic and talented actors are: Yonna Wright, Jereme Raickett, Sherrod Brown, Miranda Lawson, Ruth Simpson, David Tanciar, Ricky Cona, Chelsea McLean, and Lindy Pendzick.

About Dick Kerekes & Leisla Sansom

The Dual Critics of EU Jacksonville have been reviewing plays together for the past nine years. Dick Kerekes has been a critic since 1980, starting with The First Coast Entertainer and continuing as the paper morphed into EU Jacksonville. Leisla Sansom wrote reviews from time to time in the early 80s, but was otherwise occupied in the business world. As a writing team, they have attended almost thirty Humana Festivals of New America Plays at Actors Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky, and many of the annual conferences sponsored by the American Theatre Critics Association, which are held in cities throughout the country. They have reviewed plays in Cincinnati, Chicago, Miami, Sarasota, Minneapolis, Orlando, New York, Philadelphia, Sarasota, San Francisco, Shepherdstown, and The Eugene O’Neill Center in Waterford, Massachusetts. They currently review about one hundred plays annually in the North Florida area theaters, which include community, college, university, and professional productions.

october, 2021

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