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Local troupe takes on ‘Hairspray’

Retro musical opening Friday night in Folsom
By: Eileen Wilson Telegraph Correspondent
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El Dorado Musical Theatre is bringing the Broadway smash hit musical “Hairspray” to town in typical EDMT style. “The music is awesome; the story is timeless,” said artistic director and theater co-founder, Debbie Wilson. “I dare people to leave this theater without a song stuck in their heads.” The story is set in the 1960s — a young girl becomes an overnight celebrity, then rallies the townspeople to protest a local TV station because the station won’t allow blacks to compete in the Miss Teen Hairspray competition. “Though set in the 1960s, the show deals with prejudice issues, weight issues — there’s something for everybody in there,” Wilson said. “Everybody can relate to somebody or something in the story.” An instant Broadway sensation, “Hairspray” was nominated for 13 Tony awards, and won eight in 2003, including best musical and best original score. And winning awards is nothing new to El Dorado Musical Theatre folks. “We’ve won an Elly for the best overall performance for five years straight,” Wilson said of the Elly Award, an honor bestowed for outstanding achievements of community theaters and artists in the Sacramento region. “We also won for categories like set design, lighting and vocalists. We’ve been very fortunate.” Wilson is thrilled to direct “Hairspray,” a show she has been interested in for several years. “The show has been on our radar for a while,” Wilson said. “Once the rights were released, we jumped on it.” Rights for popular shows can run in to the thousands, but the director knows the show will be worth the cost, both for theater patrons and performers alike. “We’re so fortunate to have such an amazing cast, and everyone is killing their roles — I mean that in a good way,” Wilson said. Roles like leading lady, Tracy Turnblad, which is played by third-year EDMT veteran Helen Regula. “The character of Tracy has to be like sunshine – and that is Helen. She is always positive and overcomes everything with a smile on her face,” Wilson said. “Plus Helen’s got the pipes, and she can dance circles around everyone.” Helen’s pipes will come in handy when belting out tunes like “Good Morning Baltimore,” and signature song, “Can’t Stop the Beat.” “This show speaks to everyone, somehow. We’ve had great history lessons and stories, and we’ve studied the era,” Wilson said. in the know What: “Hairspray” by El Dorado Musical Theatre When: 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 25 to March 13 Where: Jill Solberg Performing Arts Theater, Folsom High School, 1655 Iron Point Road, Folsom Cost: Tickets are $20 general or $16 for students who show student I.D. Info: Visit www.edmt.info or call (916) 941-7464 for more information about “Hairspray” and El Dorado Musical Theatre hairspray Wondering who’s going to be on stage? Here’s the cast list: Helen Regula Jonathan Cranmer Chris Meissner Braiden Wells Stefan Sorgea Heather Clark Krista Mackin Jordan Sharp Terry Hicks Lencia Kebede Olivia Kauffmann Madeleine McConnell Jordan Maxey Kenny Gagni Kenneth Wang L Little Olivia Kauffmann Lencia Kebede Savannah Argyle Alex Levy Andrew Wilson Anjie Rose Wilson Carly Speno Caroline Mixon Jenna Sharp Jillian Curry Jon Leadbetter Jordan Maxey Julia Adams Kaileen Teter Katherine Sorgea Quintin Casl Zennin Casl Allie Frew Anna Lisa Rudolph Chelsea McVey Christina Vasile Christine Keane CJ Knoble Kaitlin Zablotsky Kali Ostermann Kelly Maur Lara Dietrich Laura Allen Maddie Kramer Megan Martorana Olivia Powell Patrick Freeman Savannah Argyle Sophia Flores SydneyClaire Slaughter Zaara Little Zack Collins