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17 Year-Old Nikki Blonsky Cast as Hairspray Film's Tracy

On their June 8th edition, "Entertainment Tonight" reported that 17 year-old Nikki Blonsky of Great Neck, NY will take on the role of heavyset heroine Tracy Turnblad in the upcoming film version of Hairspray.

Blonsky will join the previously-announced John Travolta as Edna Turnblad, Billy Crystal as Wilbur Turnblad, Queen Latifah as Motormouth Maybelle and Amanda Bynes as Penny Pingleton. "I'm shaking. I'm surprised I'm still standing!," stated the young actress upon learning that she had been cast as Tracy, who finds stardom on a local Baltimore dance show--which she helps to racially integrate.

High school senior Blonsky, who will be a fresh face to audiences, has performed in Great Neck productions of Hair (as Star/Margaret Mead) and Alice in Wonderland (as the Queen of Hearts, Dodo and Sheep). She has performed the National Anthem at local games, and has also taken part in the Concert for Katrina Relief at the Great Neck Library.

The film version of Hairspray will be directed by Adam Shankman (The Pacifier, Bringing Down the House). It will be produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, for their Zadan/Meron Productions, which previously executive produced the Golden Globe and Academy Award-winning Best Picture Chicago. Production on Hairspray is scheduled to begin this fall for a potential summer 2007 release.

Hairspray is originally based on the 1988 John Waters comedy. The new version of the film will be based on New Line's hit Broadway adaptation of the film, which debuted in 2002, and went on to win eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book and Best Director.

Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman will contribute new songs to their existing Tony Award-winning score. Shaiman will also serve as the film's music supervisor and will compose the music score for the film as well as produce its songs. Wittman and Shaiman will also serve as executive producers on the film. The new screenplay for Hairspray will be written by Leslie Dixon (Freaky Friday, Outrageous Fortune).

Toby Emmerich, New Line's president of production, is overseeing the project along with New Line's Executive VP of Production Mark Kaufman, and Creative Executives Michael Disco and Daryl Freimark.

A condensed production of Hairspray opened at the Luxor Las Vegas on February 15th. Originally starring Fierstein and Dick Latessa, the show now stars Paul Vogt and Eddie Mekka as Edna and Wilbur, respectively. It closes on June 11th.

Visit www.hairsprayonbroadway.com for more information on Hairspray.




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