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HAIRSPRAY Begins Tonight at Berkeley Playhouse

Berkeley Playhouse at the historic Julia Morgan Theater continues their seventh season with Hairspray, directed by Producing Artistic Director Daren A.C. Carollo (Broadway: A Time to Kill; Off-Broadway: bare The Musical; Regional: Diablo Theatre Company, Solano College Theatre, Napa Valley Opera House, Ohlone College, Town Hall Theatre Company, DRAA's On Broadway, El Campanil Theatre, Contra Costa Civic Theatre, Missouri Street Theatre, Role Players Ensemble) and choreographed by Alyssa Bond (Diablo Theatre Company, San Francisco State University, Golden State Theatre Productions, and Alameda Civic Light Opera). Previews begin tonight, April 23. Show runs from April 25 to May 17, 2015 at the Julia Morgan Theater, 2640 College Ave. in Berkeley. Tickets are now available through the Box Office, call (510) 845-8542 x351 or visit

The winner of eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, Hairspray is based on the 1988 John Waters film of the same name and is replete with laughter, romance, and deliriously tuneful songs. The story revolves around plus-sized teen Tracy Turnblad who suddenly becomes a dance superstar on the popular Corny Collins Show! Not dissuaded by fame, and with morals as high as her bouffant, Tracy uses her new star power to fix the personal and social plights affecting 1962 Baltimore.

"I am honored to make my Berkeley Playhouse directorial debut with Hairspray. Our production will have all of the fun from the Tony Award winning musical, some of John Waters' dark sensibility from the film, as well as an emphasis on the heart wrenching Civil Rights Movement," said Carollo.

Carollo's creative team includes Musical Direction by Michael Patrick (Bay Area Children's Theater, Center REP, Contra Costa Civic Theatre, San Francisco Opera Guild, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, The Willows Theater), Scenic Design by Robert Broadfoot (Berkeley Playhouse, Magic Theatre, Center REP, Shotgun Players, Phoenix Theatre), Lighting Design by Mark Hueske (Berkeley Playhouse, Barry Manilow at the Las Vegas Hilton, Teatro ZinZanni, State of Grace - a collaboration with visual artist Anne Patterson at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, Letter from Birmingham Jail with Anna Deavere Smith), Costume Design by Liz Martin (Berkeley Playhouse, Tri-Valley Rep, Contra Costa Musical Theatre, Altarena Playhouse, Town Hall Theatre), Sound Design by Taylor Gonzalez (Berkeley Playhouse, San Francisco Mime Troupe's Youth Theater Project), and Prop Design by Kirsten Royston (Aurora Theatre, Shotgun Players, Marin Theatre Company).

THE CAST: The cast off 33 will be headed by Monica Turner (Triassic Parq, Ray of Light; Hairspray, Cabrillo Stage; Legally Blond, Diablo Theatre Company) as Tracy Turnblad, Glen Riggs (Dogfight, [title of show] with OMG Productions), Hannah Foster (Peter Pan, Oklahoma!, The Little Mermaid) as Penny Pingleton, Branden Thomas (25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Shrek The Musical, Berkeley Playhouse; Avenue Q; Hairspray) as Seaweed, Andrew Humann (National Tour: American Idiot; Pirates of Penzance, Oliver, Berkeley Playhouse; Dog Sees God, Hedwig, Boxcar Theatre) as Link Larkin, Berwick Haynes (Marin Theatre Company, TheatreWorks, Center REP, The Goodman, Ravinia Festival, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, and LaMama Theatre) as Motormouth Maybelle, and Chelsea Holifield (Mary Poppins, Berkeley Playhouse; Zombie! The Musical: Live in Concert; Carrie The Musical; Triassic Parq) as Amber Von Tussle. Also in the cast: Anya Absten, Tielle Baker, Taylor Bartolucci, Joshua Castro, Jamella Cross, Khalia Davis, Vida Mae Fernandez, David Glazer, Jeffrey Hyche, Janelle LaSalle, Tosca Maltzman, Melissa Martinez, Jude McEntee, Kelvyn Mitchell, Samantha Pistoresi, Daniel Quezada, Ally Reardon, Joel Roster, Carina Lastimosa Salazar, Maurice André San-Chez, Majesty Scott, Kimille Stingily, The T, Gil Torres, Kyle Valentine, Scottie Woodard.

Berkeley Playhouse will partner with the non-profit, Dress for Success San Francisco during the run of Hairspray. Tracy and Edna Turnblad know that a new dress or outfit can make all the difference in how you perceive yourself and your self-esteem. Berkeley Playhouse will be holding a clothing drive on behalf of Dress for Success, with patrons welcome to donate any business or business-casual attire, or accessories that will help low-income women currently searching for a job. In appreciation for these donations, Berkeley Playhouse will provide those donors with a discount on tickets to Hairspray.

"We are very excited to partner with Berkeley Playhouse in order to help provide interview suits, career services and employment retention services to more women within our local community," said Renée Surcouf, Executive Director of Dress for Success San Francisco. "We are so grateful for Berkeley Playhouse's generous contribution to our organization and our supporters as it is only through the generosity of the community that we are able to sustain our programs."

Photo by Ben Krantz Studio

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