Run and Tell That: Newcomer Chester Gregory II To Be Seaweed in Hairspray

News   Run and Tell That: Newcomer Chester Gregory II To Be Seaweed in Hairspray Corey Reynolds, the 2003 Tony Award nominee for playing Seaweed in Broadway's Hairspray, will leave the show in July to be replaced by Chicago actor Chester Gregory II, who won raves for his title performance in The Jackie Wilson Story in Chicago and on tour.
Chester Gregory II as the title character in The Jackie Wilson Story.
Chester Gregory II as the title character in The Jackie Wilson Story. (Photo by Paul Natkin)

Seaweed, a major featured role in the hit Broadway show, is The Big Break for Gregory. He has appeared in the Black Ensemble Theater's The Jackie Wilson Story: My Heart Is Crying, Crying, for three years. The staging has played other cities and stopped into the Apollo Theatre in New York earlier this spring.

A spokesman for Hairspray said Gregory would join the Tony Award-winning smash — playing rebellious Seaweed, one of the Baltimore teens who wants to break the color barrier on local TV — in July. Reynolds leaves July 13, and Gregory enters July 15.

A spokesman for the producers said, "Since Corey's Tony nod, he's gotten a number of offers and opportunities. He's leaving to explore and pursure them, and we all look forward to his re-joining the Hairspray at some time in the future."

Hairspray, winner of the 2003 Tony Award for Best Musical, plays the Neil Simon Theatre. Reynolds is heard on the show's original cast album.