Squares vs. Drapes: Cry-Baby Opens on Broadway April 24 | Playbill

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News Squares vs. Drapes: Cry-Baby Opens on Broadway April 24 Film writer-director John Waters and his misfit band of characters return to the Broadway stage April 24 when Cry-Baby — Waters' first musical venture since the 2002 Tony-winning smash Hairspray — officially opens at the Marquis Theatre.
James Snyder and Elizabeth Stanley in Cry-Baby.
James Snyder and Elizabeth Stanley in Cry-Baby. Photo by Joan Marcus

Following an acclaimed out-of-town engagement at the La Jolla Playhouse this past fall, Cry-Baby — replete with polio, gas masks, teenage pregnancy and tongue-kissing — began previews at Broadway's Marquis March 15.

Set in 1950's Baltimore, Cry-Baby, which is based on Waters' 1990 film of the same name, features a rockabilly score performed by a cast that boasts Tony Award winner Harriet Harris as Mrs. Vernon-Williams; James Snyder as Cry-Baby, leader of the misfit Drapes; Elizabeth Stanley (Company) as Allison, one of the clean-cut Squares; Carly Jibson (Hairspray) as Pepper; Chester Gregory II (Tarzan) as Dupree; Christopher J. Hanke (In My Life) as Baldwin; Lacey Kohl as Wanda; Alli Mauzey (Wicked) as Lenora; Courtney Balan as Mona; and Richard Poe (Journey's End) as Judge Stone.

Rounding out the ensemble are Cameron Adams, Ashley Amber, Nick Blaemire, Michael Buchanan, Eric Christian, Colin Cunliffe, Lisa Gajda, Michael D. Jablonski, Laura Jordan, Brendan King, Marty Lawson, Courtney Laine Mazza, Spencer Liff, Mayumi Miguel, Tory Ross, Eric Sciotto, Peter Matthew Smith, Allison Spratt, Charlie Sutton and Stacey Todd Holt.

For his second venture on the rialto, Waters has teamed with the songwriting team of David Javerbaum ("The Daily Show") and Adam Schlesinger ("That Thing You Do"), who are making their Broadway debut with the new musical. Hairspray book writers Thomas Meehan and Mark O'Donnell repeat their duties for Cry-Baby.

Harriet Harris and cast members
photo by Joan Marcus
"It is different, it's sexy," Waters said of Cry-Baby at a recent press event. "I don't think that was the first word anybody ever called Hairspray. But it's sexy, it's irreverent, and it's ruder in a way. And I think that works for it. I think that's what it should be." Directed by Mark Brokaw, Cry-Baby gets a heavy dose of its sex appeal from Tony Award winning-choreographer Rob Ashford, who gives the production its inventive moves.

The creative team also features Lynne Shankel (music direction, incidental music and additional arrangements), Christopher Jahnke (orchestrations) and David Chase (dance arranger). The design team comprises Scott Pask (scenic), Catherine Zuber (costume), Howell Binkley (lighting), Peter Hylenski (sound), Tom Watson (hair and wig) and Randy Houston Mercer (makeup). Rick Sordelet serves as fight director. Rolt Smith is stage manager.

In Cry-Baby, press notes state, "Everyone likes Ike, nobody likes communism, and Wade 'Cry-Baby' Walker is the coolest boy in town. He's a bad boy with a good cause — truth, justice, and the pursuit of rock 'n roll — and when he falls for a good girl who wants to be bad, her charm school world of bobby sox and barbershop quartets will never be the same. Wayward youth, juvenile delinquents, sexual repression, cool music, dirty lyrics, bizarre rejects...Finally, the 50's come to life! For real this time!"

Tickets ($35-$120) for Cry Baby at Broadway's Marquis Theatre, 1535 Broadway, are available by visiting CryBabyOnBroadway.com.

Cast of <i>Cry-Baby</i>
Cast of Cry-Baby Joan Marcus

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