The Argyle Theatre Announces The Cast And Creative Team For HAIRSPRAY

By: Jun. 26, 2018

Long Island's newest theatrical venue The Argyle Theatre (Evan Pappas, Artistic Director) presents the Tony Award winning hit Broadway musical Hairspray with book by Marc O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, music by Marc Shaiman, and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman at The Argyle Theatre (34 West Main Street, Babylon, Long Island). Performances are set to begin Thursday, July 12, 2018 for a limited run through Sunday, August 26, 2018.

Under the direction and choreography of Antoinette DiPietropolo, and with music direction by Jonathon Brenner, the principal cast will feature Jason Simon as Edna, Katy Geraghty as Tracy, John Salvatore as Wilbur, Inga Ballard as Motor Mouth Maybelle, Sam Leicht as Link, Kirby Lunn as Amber, Kelsey Youmans as Velma, Malcolm Franklin as Seaweed, Christina Jackson as Penny, Dustin Maxwell as Corny Collins, and Nya Noemi as Little Inez. Rounding out the cast is Jill Taylor Anthony, Kayla Coleman, Lephate Cunningham, Courtney Fekete, Sean Patrick Grady, Conor McGriffin, Nyasia J. Monroe, Ashley Munzek, Matthew V. Ranaudo, Brandon Riddle, Reagan Roberts, and Chelsea Smith.

Hairspray is an American musical with music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman and a book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, based on the 1988 John Waters film Hairspray. The songs include 1960s-style dance music and "downtown" rhythm and blues. In 1962 Baltimore, Maryland, plump teenager Tracy Turnblad's dream is to dance on The Corny Collins Show, a local TV dance program based on the real-life Buddy Deane Show.[1] When Tracy wins a role on the show, she becomes a celebrity overnight, and meets a colorful group of characters, leading to social change as Tracy campaigns for the show's integration.

In 2003 it won eight Tony Awards, including one for Best Musical, out of 13 nominations. It ran for 2,642 performances, and closed on January 4, 2009. Hairspray has also had national tours, a West End production, and numerous foreign productions and was adapted as a 2007 musical film. The London production was nominated for a record-setting eleven Laurence Olivier Awards, winning four including Best New Musical.

"Fresh off the success of the first show of our inaugural season, Guys and Dolls (which starred Elizabeth Broadhurst, Todd Buonopane, Spencer Plachy, Melissa Maricich and Robert Anthony Jones), I'm pleased that we are following up with Hairspray and this equally talented cast and creative team," stated Argyle Artistic Director Evan Pappas. "We are beyond excited to bring this new theatre to the Long Island area and create new jobs for the NY theatre community and beyond."

The creative team for Hairspray includes Diggle (scenic design), Kurt Algers (costume design), John Burkland (lighting design), Sam Silva (sound design), and Peggy Samuels (production manager). The Production Stage Manager is Andrea Wales with Barry Marks as Assistant Stage Manager.

Hairspary will play the following performance schedule: July 12 - July 29: Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 3:00 p.m & 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. August 1 - 26: Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 3:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. There is special performance on Wednesday afternoon, August 1 at 2:00 p.m. Please note: There are no Monday or Tuesday performances.

Tickets for Hairspray, NOW ON SALE are priced from $74 - $79, and may be purchased online at or by calling (844) 631-LIVE (5483).


Jason Simon (Edna Turnblad) is so excited to finally have a chance to fill the illustrious house shoes of Edna! Most recently he was seen in New York as the Maitre'd in Susan Stroman's production of The Merry Widow and Ivan in Die Fledermaus at the Metropolitan Opera. You might have also seen Jason on PBS as Sheriff Vallon in the Live from Lincoln Center NY Philharmonic's concert of "Show Boat," Dick Dead-Eye in "HMS Pinafore," or Cleopas in "Easter Mysteries." Other TV/Film: "SpongeBob SquarePants: Sponge Out Of Water," "White Collar," "Exploitation" and "I'd Kill For You." Nat'l tours: Sister Act, The Wizard of Oz, The Producers, CATS!, The Scarlet Pimpernel and Funny Girl. Regional: The Guthrie, Fulton Theatre, Cape Playhouse, Barrington Stage, Ogunquit Playhouse and Merry-Go-Round.

Katy Geraghty (Tracy Turnblad) is thrilled to be a part of the Argyle opening season! Broadway: Groundhog Day. Select Regional: Hairspray (Tracy), Shrek (Gingy), and Into the Woods (Little Red). Katy is a UMass Amherst grad, where she was featured on the a cappella reality TV show "Sing It On".

Inga Ballard (Motor Mouth Maybelle) is pleased to make her debut at the Argyle Theatre. Inga's recent credits include Familiar at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre. Additional credits include the 1st and 2nd National of Ragtime. Regional credits include numerous productions of Hairspray at NSMT, Sacramento Music Circus, Houston's TUTS, The Cape Playhouse, The New Theatre, Westchester Broadway, and the Lyric Theatre. Additional Regional Credits: The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Syracuse Stage, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, City Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, Goodspeed Opera House; TV Credits: "Power," "Law & Order: CI," "All My Children," "30 Rock," commercials and voiceovers. Inga received her BA in Drama from UC Davis and her MFA in Acting from USC.

John Salvatore (Wilbur Turnblad), originally from Baldwin, L.I., just finished a 9 year run playing Bob Crewe in Jersey Boys (Las Vegas.) Broadway: Beauty and the Beast, Hello, Dolly!, 42nd Street.
Off-Broadway: the original cast of Pageant. Nat'l Tours: Hairspray, A Chorus Line, Me and My Girl, Sugar Babies, and many more.

Kelsey Youmans (Velma Von Tussle) is a native New Yorker and proud graduate of The American Musical and Dramatics Academy. Off-Broadway: Fabulous, the Musical (Betty Bazookas). International Tour: Beauty and the Beast (Babette), Vegas: Jubilee (principle). Cruise Work: Disney (Mother Gothel), Royal Caribbean (Pixel's MC).

Sam Leicht (Link Larkin) is so excited to be doing Hairspray at the Argyle Theatre! Recent shows include Ragtime (Ogunquit), Big Fish (Timberlake Playhouse), and A Chorus Line (Baldwin Wallace University).. BWMT Alum.

Christina Emily Jackson (Penny Pingleton). Cincinnati, Ohio to Penn State to NYC! Selected credits: Shrek (International Tour); National Tours of The Sound of Music and A Charlie Brown Christmas. Disney Cruise Line; Grease (Maine State Music Theatre), White Christmas (Jenny Wiley Theater), Guys and Dolls (Ocean City Theatre), and Holiday Celebration (LaComedia).

Dustin Maxwell (Corny Collins) is thrilled to join Argyle for their opening season! Regional: The Wizard of Oz (Scarecrow); Joseph ... Dreamcoat (Levi); Bachelorette (Joe); Spring Awakening (Moritz). Disney Cruise Line: Aladdin (Iago); Believe (Bert, Lumiere); Wishes (Vladimir). South Korea: Pinocchio (Pinocchio); Merlin (Arthur). BFA Musical Theatre Dance Minor UCF.

Antoinette DiPietropolo (Director/Choreographer) ss thrilled to be welcomed into the Argyle Theater. Choreographer for the National Tour of FAME; Director/Choreographer for the National Tour of VeggieTales; Choreographer/Associate Director BIG APPLE CIRCUS (2014,2015,2017); Re-staging Director/Choreographer for the International Tour of Scooby Doo Live; Associate Director/Restaging Choreographer for the National Tour of How The Grinch Stole Christmas; Director/Choreographer Nunsense (Flatrock Playhouse); Director/Choreographer Saturday Night Fever (Hilton Head Theater); Director/Choreographer Chicago, Jesus Christ Superstar and Annie (Fort Salem Theatre); Choreographer Annie (MUNY, St. Louis); Director/Choreographer Ragtime (Lyric Stage, 14 Theatre League Award nominations); Ragtime (North Carolina Theatre, winner for Best Choreographer,Triangle Theatre Awards); Choreographer for Candide starring George Hearn & Rita Moreno; Director/Choreographer for Annie, Mamma Mia, Nunsense; Choreographer for Grease, The Full Monty, Miracle On 34th Street, The Producers, A Christmas Story, The Music Man, Evita, South Pacific, Hairspray, and I Love You Your Perfect Now Change (John W. Engeman Theater); Co-Creator/Choreographer Powerhouse (Joyce, SoHo); Choreographer Off-Broadway show With Glee; Choreographer for the ongoing bus tour "The Ride" in New York City; Associate Director for the play The Divorcees Club; Director/Choreographer for a Pepsi/Grubhub/Seamless Superbowl promotion; Director for the play Art and Science starring John Tartaglia and Tony Sheldon.

Jonathan Brenner (Music Director/Conductor) is very excited to be a part of the Argyle's first season, and is feeling big, blonde, and beautiful getting to live inside such an incredible score with this amazing cast and team. Additional NYC Music Director credits include: Singin' In The Rain and Annie at the John W. Engeman Theatre, The Runaway Clone (NYMF) and Shelter (NYMF). Music Arranger for and Sheri Sanders' Rock The Performance. Producer, Composer, and Music Supervisor for Jordan Roth's musical talk-show: The Birds & The BS. Composer: Sapien Sapien Sapien, A Fully Seasoned Life, and The Runaway Clone. Pianist: Broadway Sings concert series, and various concerts/shows at Rockwood Music Hall and 54 Below. Music Director(academic): Broadway Artists Alliance, ApplauseNY, and Sheri Sanders. Arranger(academic): The Broadway Collective. Charity/volunteer work: Co/Lab Theatre Group, The Easter Bonnet Competition, and Music for Autism NYC. BM, Boston University: College Of Fine Arts.

The Argyle Theatre, the newly renovated and historic theatre on Main Street in the Village of Babylon, NY, opened in Spring, 2018 with the musical Guys and Dolls, the first show in a full roster of plays, musicals, concerts and other performing arts. The theatre will offer six annual main stage productions featuring performers from Actors Equity Association, the union for professional stage actors.

The much-anticipated performance venue has been brought back to life by Argyle Co-Owners and Managing Partners Mark and Dylan Perlman, a father-son duo behind the $3-million project. Seaford residents Mark Perlman, psychologist, and Dylan Perlman, actor, have long dreamed of bringing high-quality live theatre to Babylon, NY.

To help fuel the success of the Argyle Theatre project, the NYS Empire State Development Corporation awarded the Perlman's a $150,000 grant, and the Babylon Town Industrial Development Agency awarded the theater tax breaks worth nearly $300,000.

Renovations of the Suffolk County theatre have been extensive, ranging from knocking down walls, rebuilding the stage, painting, updating carpeting and curtains, installing state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, adding a bar to the upstairs lounge, and refurbishing the 500-seat theatre's iconic marquee and sign.

The Argyle Theatre has a rich history of entertainment reaching back to 1921 when a newspaper article in the Babylon Leader announced plans for a "$100,000 Theatre for Main Street." With a 1,500-seat capacity, the new Capitol Theatre was expected to be "the finest theatre on the South Side." The new entertainment venue would not only benefit residents, it would help Babylon become a more attractive summer resort for vacationers.

A 1923 playbill advertised daily performances ranging from vaudeville to adaptations of Broadway shows such as The Hero and East Side West Side.

In 1925, the Suffolk County theatre re-opened under new ownership as the Babylon Theatre, delighting audiences with its many modern improvements including a flashy electric marquis. An advertising campaign to surrounding communities was so successful that 500 people had to be turned away on opening night. It was obvious that the Babylon Theatre was poised for success.

Throughout the following decades, the Babylon Theatre survived two fires and several different owners as it continued operating as a modern cinema house until 2014.


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