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Hairspray Tour in Hartford, CT (Understudy report)

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DottieD'Luscia
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I had the privilege of seeing the tour of Hairspray in Connecticut the other evening. To start off, the Bushnell Theatre in Hartford is truly a beautiful house.

When I arrived at the theater that evening, I was quite surprised to find out so early in the tour that an understudy would be appearing (Thurs. 9/25). Alli Mauzey went on in the role of Penny and she was GREAT!!! It's nice to see that she gave her own take on the role instead of doing a copy cat performance of the person she understudies. Her acting was good and she has a phenominal singing voice. The only thing that was odd was that during the finale she didn't wear the beaded purple dress. She had a very plain mint green dress on. The cast even applauded her during her bow.

Donna Vivino (Shelley) was also out that night, but Lindsay Chambers stepped right in and did a great job during the bridge solo after "Mama I'm a Big Girl Now".

The Connecticut audience was very enthusiastic and they absolutely loved Bruce Villanch. I reported on Carly Jibson during my first review after seeing it in Baltimore and she's just amazing as ever.

My only complaint is that the orchestra was so loud at times that you could not hear the actors.
Hey Dottie! Did your colleagues enjoy the cake even though your cat decided to sit on it? ~GuyfromGermany
broadwayguy2
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Great to hear that Alli did well in the part. The reason for the green dress is probably that the purple one isn't finished yet. You said yourself, it is very early in the tour, and if you recall, in Julianna's Journal, if you read it, it took a while to get her "Millie" dresses in.
BwayTheatre11
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Awesome. Great to hear that she is so good. Once again, can't wait to see the show in Cincinnati!
CCM '10!
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DottieD'Luscia
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Thanks, BroadwayGuy2. I came to the same conclusion about the finale dress, but thought Alli would have already had a dress since I believe she understudied the role on Broadway.
Hey Dottie! Did your colleagues enjoy the cake even though your cat decided to sit on it? ~GuyfromGermany
broadwayguy2
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Alli was brought in for about three months to replace Jen Gambatese, who was an understudy for Penny. When Jen left, Brooke Tansley joined Hollie Howard as the Penny Pingleton understudy. I don't think Alli was ever listed as an understudy for Penny while a member of the Broadway cast.]

Side note:: doesn't Alli look like a clone of Kerry Butler?
Updated On: 9/28/03 at 12:37 PM
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BrdwyThtr
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Glad to hear you enjoyed the show! Next stop, BOSTON!
broadwayguy2
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Dottie, this is the Alli Mauzey-Hairspray Timeline/Event seuence. I hope this makes as much sense on screen as it odes in my head becasue I might get a bit confused!


- Alli Mauzey auditions at an open call in Los Angeles and is cast as Penny Pingleton for the first National Tour.

- Jenn Gambatese is cast in Frog And Toad. Alli is asked to join the Broadway cast as Brenda for three months before beginning work on the tour. Brooke Tansley, a swing, takes over as a Penny Pingleton understudy. Jenn Gambatese has a deal with the producers that if Frog and Toad does not run, she may return at the end of Alli's three months.

- Before Frog and Toad posts a closing notice, Hairspray's producers are unsure of the situation and believing that Jenn will be with that show for a while longer, they ask Alli to stay with the Broadway cast and cast as Sandra DeNise to replace Alli as Penny on tour.

- Frog and Toad posts a closing notice. Jenn Gambatese begins discussions to return to the role of Brenda and Alli is offered the role of Brenda and understudy to Penny for the National tour.

- Kerry Butler is asked to play Audrey on Broadway in Little Shop, so Jenn Gambatese is asked to return to the company as Penny. Michelle Kittrell, who has served as a swing on Hairspray several times, is asked to joiin the cast as Brenda and a Penny Pingleton/Amber Von Tussle understudy.
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Mr. Tuttle
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Ignorance is temporary. Stupidity last forever. Watch out BWW... HE'S BACK.
Updated On: 9/29/03 at 02:23 AM
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Mr. Tuttle
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Isn't Jordan Ballard the regular Penny? Or is she Amber?
Ignorance is temporary. Stupidity last forever. Watch out BWW... HE'S BACK.
broadwayguy2
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Jordan Ballard is Amber Von Tussle

Sandra DeNise is Penny Pingleton.
Sandra DeNise :: The Official Website
FindingNamo
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Cue Don Dixon's "What planet are you people from?" speech from "Camp." QUICKLY!
Can you hear me now? Twitter: @NamoInExile
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ChrisTheatre456
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Hairspray Tour Elements#12
Posted: 10/4/03 at 11:30pm
I am always interested in understudy stuff and the differences between the broadway and tour production. When you walk into one of the theatres for the national tour of Hairspray, what do you see first?? Is there a bright and colorful show curtain?? I am seeing it in Boston very soon and am always interested in first impressions...just like with phantom you see the stage set up for the auction...what do u see with Hairspray??

Thanks!!
wgillette
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Saw the show in Hartford (I live about 15 mins away)
Loved every minute and wish it were still here.
Great,Fun,Touching show - It should never end! I LOVE IT! PLease come back!
john

www.theatrelives.org
Updated On: 10/5/03 at 02:06 AM
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Amneris
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michelle doesnt u/s amber i dont believe..and when alli was here, they did list her as penny in the PB and i heard she had a put in rehersal but they just always put brooke on. sucks wish i could of seen her...she was really nice. also jenny ford is now a vacation swing for the show.
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DottieD'Luscia
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ChrisTheatre456,

The curtain for the tour is very similar to the one used on Broadway (striped, which becomes a wig somewhere during the show [I know that is a horrible description!!!])

You will have a blast when you see it. Please keep us posted as to what you think.

Dottie
Hey Dottie! Did your colleagues enjoy the cake even though your cat decided to sit on it? ~GuyfromGermany