Photo Coverage Exclusive: Olympic Gold Medalist Liukin Visits 'Hairspray'
On Thursday, September 11th 2008 the cast of HAIRSPRAY had two very special guests: Olympic all-around gold medalist Nastia Liukin and Original and Final cast member of RENT, Gwen Stewart. BroadwayWorld.com's cameras were backstage to capture the moment.
Nastia Liukin is a Russian-American gymnast. She is the 2008 Olympic individual all-around gold medalist, the 2005 and 2007 World Champion on the balance beam, and the 2005 World Champion on the uneven bars. With nine World Championships medals, seven of them individual, Liukin is tied with Shannon Miller as the American gymnast having won the most World Championship medals. Liukin has also tied Miller's and Mary Lou Retton's records as the American gymnast having won the most medals in a single Olympic Games.
Gwen Stewart, who created several roles in the landmark Broadway musical Rent, including introducing the solo vocals for the show’s central theme, “Seasons of Love,” returned to the show on Monday, July 21 through the final performance on September 7th, 2008. Ms. Stewart’s other theatre credits include the Tony-nominated revival of Big River (NAACP Best Supporting Actress nomination/Honorary Tony for Excellence in Theatre for the ensemble), Starmites, Suds, Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Wiz, Avenue X, Abyssinia. Her film and television work includes “Notes From the Underbelly,” “Related,” “Law & Order,” “Charmed,” “All My Children,” “Moesha,” “24,” “Strong Medicine,” “The Guardian,” Down To Earth, and Personals
Hairspray, which celebrated its sixth anniversary on Broadway in August 2008, is the winner of eight 2003 Tony Awards, including best musical, best actor (Harvey Fierstein), best actress (Marissa Jaret Winokur), best featured actor (Dick Latessa), best score (Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman), best book (Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan), best director (Jack O'Brien), and best costume design (William Ivey Long). 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 currently stars Marissa Perry as Tracy Turnblad, George Wendt as Edna Turnblad, Karen Mason as Velma Von Tussle, Tevin Campbell as Seaweed J. Stubbs, Ken Marks as Wilbur Turnblad, Kevin Meaney as Male Authority Figure, Susan Mosher as Female Authority Figure, Naturi Naughton as Inez, Niki Scalera as Penny Pingleton, and Clarke Thorell as Corny Collins.
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 Live Nation; A. Gordon/E. McAllister; D. Harris/M. Swinsky; J. & B. Osher.
Hairspray plays Tuesday and Thursday at 7pm; Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at 8pm; Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm; Sunday at 3pm, at Broadway’s Neil Simon Theatre, 250 West 52 Street.
For ticket information, phone Ticketmaster at 212-307-4100, or for group sales, phone 212-302-7000 or 800-677-1164. Hairspray offers the ShowTrans system for foreign-speaking audience members in the following languages: French, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish. Same-day, lottery tickets are sold at the box office for seats in the first row of the orchestra. For more information about Hairspray, please consult the Hairspray website at www.hairsprayonbroadway.com.
Photos by Walter McBride/Retna Ltd.