"Leave it to Beaver": Jerry Mathers to Make Broadway Debut in Hairspray

News   "Leave it to Beaver": Jerry Mathers to Make Broadway Debut in Hairspray Jerry Mathers, who is best known for playing the title role in the 1950s sitcom "Leave it to Beaver," will make his Broadway debut in June.
Jerry Mathers
Jerry Mathers

The New York Times reports that Mathers will assume the role of Wilbur Turnblad in the Tony-winning musical Hairspray beginning June 5. The actor is scheduled to stay with the production at the Neil Simon Theatre for three months.

Jerry Mathers created the role of Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver in the situation comedy "Leave it to Beaver." His other screen credits include "I Love Lucy," "Batman," "Lassie," "My Three Sons," "Still the Beaver," "Diagnosis Murder" and "Will to Power."

In Hairspray "it's 1962 — the '50s are out and change is in the air. Baltimore's Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, has only one passion — to dance. She wins a spot on the local TV dance program, 'The Corny Collins Show' and, overnight, is transformed from outsider to irrepressible teen celebrity. But can a plus-size trendsetter in dance and fashion vanquish the program's reigning princess, win the heart of heartthrob Link Larkin, and integrate a television show without denting her 'do?"

Hairspray is based on the New Line Cinema film written and directed by John Waters, who serves as a creative consultant on the musical comedy. It features a book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, and a score by five-time Academy Award nominee Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

Hairspray is directed by Jack O'Brien and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell; scenic design is by David Rockwell; costume design is by William Ivey Long; lighting design is by Kenneth Posner; and sound design is by Steve C. Kennedy.

Hairspray will celebrate its fifth anniversary on Broadway in August. It's the winner of eight 2003 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

For more information about Hairspray, visit www.hairsprayonbroadway.com.