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Vilanch will discuss the upcoming tour, in which he'll play a Baltimore hausfrau transformed into a fabulous matron in 1962. The tour launches Sept. 9 at the Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore.
No grand transformation is expected on the TV show. Don't expect Vilanch to slip into the Tony-winner William Ivey Long's Turnblad costumes.
Vilanch, whose rotund and hirsute face has been compared (by him) to a Muppet's, begins rehearsals for the national tour of the 2003 Tony Award winner July 28. Vilanch is with the tour as Edna Turnblad only through July 18, 2004.
A bigger-than-life personality as a writer and comic who has served as a writer for the Oscars, Emmys, Tonys and Grammys, Vilanch was previously announced to play Edna Turnblad, a role created in the Broadway run by Harvey Fierstein, who won a Tony Award for his drag turn. He is author of the book, "Bruce! My Adventures in the Skin Trade and Other Essays," and was the subject of a documentary film, "Get Bruce!" He has performed a one man show, billed as a "bio comedy," in engagements around the country.
Newcomer Carly Jibson will play daughter Tracy to Bruce Vilanch's mama Edna when the national tour of Hairspray launches Sept. 9-21 at Baltimore's Morris Mechanic Theatre.
The tour cast also includes Jordan Ballard as Tracy's nemesis, Amber Von Tussle; Troy Britton Johnson as dance show host Corny Collins; Terron Brooks as soul rich Seaweed; Susan Cella (The Graduate, Me and My Girl) as Velma Von Tussle; Charlotte Crossley as Motormouth Maybelle, Seaweed's mom; Sandra DeNise as Tracy's pal Penny Pingleton; Joanna Glushak (recently of Urinetown) as the Female Authority Figure (including Penny's mom and a prison matron); Blake Hammond (The Music Man) as the Male Authority Figure (including Harriman Spritzer and Mr. Pinky); Austin Miller as crooner-teen Link Larkin; Todd Susman as "Timeless to Me" hubby Wilbur Turnblad; and Kianna Underwood as Seaweed's sister Little Inez.
Hairspray's ensemble, standbys and swings are Joe Abraham, Cameron Adams, Jacqueline Arnold, Lindsay Chambers, E. Clayton Cornelius, Bryan Crawford, Michael Cunio, Angela Gaylor, Jesse Johnson, Lauren Kling, Diedre Lang, Alli Mauzey, Kenny Morris, Nraca, Cjay Hardy, Sabrina Scherff, Keala Settle, Jason Snow, Leonard Sullivan, Donna Vivino, Bryan West and Willis White.
Dates through 2004 are booked, and the tour is expected to have a long life into 2005.
This musical stage version of the John Waters-directed film is a kind of latter-day Bye Bye Birdie, with edge: Chubby high schooler Tracy Turnblad wants to appear on the Baltimore TV dance show and ends up integrating the program, getting the coolest guy in school and transforming herself and her blowsy mom from drab to fab in 1962 Maryland.
The show won 2003 Tony Awards for Best Score (Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman), Best Book (Thomas Meehan and Mark O'Donnell), Best Actress in a Musical (Marissa Jaret Winokur), Best Actor (Harvey Fierstein), Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Dick Latessa), Best Costume Design (William Ivey Long), Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical.
The Broadway production continues at the Neil Simon Theatre.
Hairspray is produced by Margo Lion; Adam Epstein; The Baruch·Viertel·Routh·Frankel Group; James D. Stern/Douglas L. Meyer; Rick Steiner/Frederic H. Mayerson; SEL & GFO; New Line Cinema, in association with Clear Channel Entertainment; A. Gordon/E. McAllister; D. Harris/M. Swinsky; J.&B. Osher.
For tour dates, visit Playbill On-Line's tour listings by clicking here.
The Hairspray website can be found at hairsprayontour.com.