Lewis is one of Bette Midler's former Harlettes and a Broadway actress whose credits include Eubie and Comin' Uptown. She had her own one-woman show The Diva Is Dismissed at the Public Theater. She'll replace Motown singer Darlene Love who has been with the Broadway Hairspray company since July 2005. Love will exit the Broadway production April 20.
Lewis returns to Broadway following film and TV work in "Meet the Browns," "Corrina, Corrina," "Sister Act," "Poetic Justice," Lifetime's "Strong Medicine," "The Preacher's Wife," "Cast Away," and her upcoming vocal role as Mama Odie in the Disney animated feature "The Princess and the Frog."
Hairspray opened on Broadway on Aug. 15, 2002. It won Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Score (Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman), Best Book (Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan), Best Actor in a Musical (Harvey Fierstein), Best Actress in a Musical (Marissa Jaret Winokur), Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Dick Latessa), Best Direction of a Musical (Jack O'Brien) and Best Costume Design (William Ivey Long).
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?"
For more information about Hairspray, visit www.hairsprayonbroadway.com.