Pinette takes over for Bruce Vilanch as the zaftig mother whose daughter, Tracy, breaks down racial barriers in 1962 Baltimore. Pinette played Edna in the popular national tour of the Tony Award-winning musical inspired by the John Waters motion picture.
Also bowing at the Neil Simon Theatre Sept. 6 is Stephen DeRosa (the former Baker of 2002's Into the Woods) as Wilbur Turnblad, Edna's harried and loyal hubby. Kevin Meaney stepped into the roles of Mr. Pinky and Harriman F. Spritzer on Sept. 2. Original Dynamite Judine Somerville (formerly Judine Richard) rejoins the cast Sept. 6.
Shortly after he began touring comedy clubs around the country, John Pinette got his big break when he was asked to tour with Frank Sinatra. He's been in showbiz for 15 years. His film and TV appearances include "Duets," "The Punisher," "Dear God" and "Junior," as well as "Parker Lewis Can’t Lose."
He was named Stand-Up Comedian of the Year by the American Comedy Awards in 1999 and received a Gemini Award nomination for his televised performance at the Montreal Comedy Festival in 2000. Pinette's first comedy CD, "Show Me the Buffet," and follow-up CD/DVD, "I Say 'Nay Nay,'" are in stores. Kevin Meaney is an actor and comedian whose credits include TV's "Uncle Buck," two HBO specials, Penny Marshall's "Big," Jerry Seinfeld on Broadway, his one-man show Wedding Vows in Las Vegas and the 2004 Toronto production of Hairspray.
Also featured in the cast of Hairspray are Shannon Durig as Tracy Turnblad, Darlene Love, Richard H. Blake, Jonathan Dokuchitz, Chester Gregory II, Becky Gulsvig, Julie Halston, Blake Hammond, Tracy Miller, Nia Imani Soyemi, Barbara Walsh, and Joe Abraham, Joshua Bergasse, Gretchen Bieber, Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Michael Cunio, Michelle Dowdy, Leslie Goddard, Carla J. Hargrove, Tyrick Wiltez Jones, Abdul Latif, Rusty Mowery, Nicole Powell, Andrew Rannells, Terita R. Redd, Arbender J. Robinson, Jackie Seiden, Todd Michel Smith, Judine Somerville, Donna Vivino, Bryan West, Tommar Wilson and Candice Marie Woods.
Hairspray 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. It's 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 celebrated its third anniversary on Broadway in August 2005. Producers are 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.