Shannon Durig: Goodbye to Baltimore!

The lyric "I know where I've been!" has never rang more true than with Shannon Durig.  After over 1,000 performances as Broadway's favorite big-girl Tracy Turnblad, Shannon will take her final Hairspray bow on Sunday, April 13, 2008.

Shannon first stepped on-stage at the Neil Simon Theatre in August 2003 as an understudy, but soon found herself shaking-it with the nicest kids in town eight times a week! Amidst teasing-up her towering hair and busting-down TV segregation, Shannon has fostered a loving family among her cast and fans.

BroadwayWorld had the wonderful opportunity to chat with Shannon Durig during her farewell week.  This lucky leading lady shares the absolute joys and unforgettable relationships this incredible role has privileged her…

Eugene Lovendusky: With over 1,000 performances, "wow" seems an understatement… How does it feel?

Shannon Durig: It feels amazing. I've always dreamed to be on Broadway; but to do 1,000 shows I feel is a dream come true beyond whatever I could have hoped and wished.

Eugene: Is there a special way you're going to celebrate?

Shannon: We had our big celebration for the 1,000th show last month. Of course, we'll have a party with friends, eat, drink and be merry. Really, I want to celebrate this great cast. It's bitter-sweet. These are people I've known for four-and-a-half years… I've grown-up with them. I've seen them more than my own family. It's like I'm graduating from Patterson Park High School!

Eugene: Let's rewind time back to 2003 when you made your Broadway debut as an understudy…

Shannon: When I first went on, it was an out-of-body experience. It was so scary and also so fun at the same time. I was nervous to do it again but knew I had to get back on the horse. These people trust you a lot to carry this show.  I remember being in awe. And now, for doing it so long – it's become a part of me. I have a blast every single night. I'm actually getting to play with my best friends on-stage in front of thousands of people.

Eugene: You really have been the heart of this show for so long. At the same time, Hairspray has had a revolving door of some great talent. For example, as Link Larkin, you've romanced with Matthew Morrison, Richard H. Blake, Andrew Rannells, Ashley Parker Angel.  Who's the best kisser?

Shannon: [laughs] They all are! They're all my favorites in their own special way because they're all different… And they're all hot! [laughs] I love all my Links.

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Eugene Lovendusky Eugene Lovendusky graduated summa cum laude from SFSU with a BA in Writing for Electronic Media and a minor in Drama. Raised in the SF Bay Area, his love for the arts bloomed at an early-age; a passion that has flourished in NYC, where Eugene now lives and works. He is a proud member of the New York City Gay Mens' Chorus.