HAIRSPRAY the Musical
June 8-24, 2018
Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall at North Central College, 31 S. Ellsworth Avenue in Naperville
Book by Mark O’Donnell & Thomas Meehan
Music by Marc Shaiman | Lyrics by Scott Whitman & Marc Shaiman
Directed by Artistic Director Jeffrey Cass and Barry R. Norton
Musically directed by Sarah Giordano | Choreographed by Jeni Donahue
The 1950s are out, and change is in the air! Based on the 1988 John Waters film and then inspiring a return to the big screen in 2007 Hairspray, a winner of eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, is a family-friendly musical, piled bouffant-high with laughter, romance and deliriously tuneful songs. It’s 1962 in Baltimore, and the lovable, pleasantly-plump teen, Tracy Turnblad, has only one desire – to dance on the popular “Corny Collins Show.” When her dream comes true, Tracy is transformed from social outcast to sudden star. Can she use her newfound power to dethrone the reigning Teen Queen, win the affections of heartthrob, Link Larkin, and integrate a TV network… all without denting her hairdo?
Jeffrey Cass (Director/Artistic Director) a Joseph Jefferson Award Nominee most recently directed BightSide Theatre’s: Guys and Dolls, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Monty Python’s Spamalot, The Sound of Music, It’s a Wonderful Life: a Live Radio Play, Cabaret, RENT, Company, BrightSide Theatre’s inaugural production – Run For Your Wife and also for BrightSide Theatre’s Youth Project inaugural production of Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, Jr., Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Jr., Disney’s Aladdin, Jr., Legally Blonde the Musical Jr., and Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr. He holds a B.F.A. in Musical Theater Performance from Roosevelt University where he also studied lighting design and stage management. He previously served as the Producing Director for Circle Theatre where he directed The Who’s Tommy (6 Joseph Jefferson Nominations including Best Musical and Best Director) Neil LaBute’s Bash and The Distance From Here (Midwest Premier), Burning Blue (Midwest Premier), Crazy for You, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Urinetown, Peter Pan and for their New Plays Festivals.
Barry Norton (Co-director) is excited to be joining the BrightSide Theatre team. Barry holds a B.A. in Directing/Musical Theatre from Columbia College where he studied under the late Sheldon Patinkin and the Steppenwolf Theatre Ensemble. Barry has over 25 years of Theatre experience both directing and on stage. He previously held a position as Artistic Director/ Board Member for The Woodstock Musical Theatre Company/ The Woodstock Opera House. Some of his directing credits include Joseph…Dreamcoat, Oliver (Broadway World nomination for Best Director), Annie, Crazy for You, Always Patsy Cline, Oklahoma, Bye, Bye Birdie, The Wiz, Hello, Dolly!, The King and I, Cinderella, The Outsiders, and Seussical. When not on stage performing, directing, and set designing/painting he can be found teaching his 4th graders in Chicago and spending time with his dog Rusty. He is happy and thankful to be working with such a collaborative team. Special thanks to Julie and Jeff for giving him this GREAT opportunity! Break a leg cast and crew!! You are all AWESOME!!!
Jeni Donahue (Choreographer) is a professional choreographer from Joliet who earned her degree in Dance & Vocal performance from Columbia College and has been choreographing professionally for over 25 years. She has worked with all age levels and abilities and has been heavily involved in every aspect of dance. Jeni is sought after clinician, adjudicator and guest speaker at competitions and events throughout the United States. Jeni was honored to choreograph the Illinois All State productions of Ragtime (2005), Urinetown (2010) & Into the Woods (2011). She is very excited to return to work with BrightSide for her 5th season. Past BrightSide choreography credits include: Cabaret,Aladdin Jr, Sound of Music, Legally Blonde Jr ,Spamalot, Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr, Beauty and the Beast and Guys and Dolls. She would like to thank her 2 sons, Benjamin and Noah who are her inspiration every day.
Sarah Giordano (Vocal Director/Music Director) earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Instrumental Music Education from Eastern Illinois University and a Master’s Degree in Choral Music Education from VanderCook College of Music. She teaches general music, directs the choirs and the musical at Jackson Middle School in Villa Park and she serves as an adjunct professor of graduate studies at VanderCook College of Music in Chicago. Sarah consistently serves as a choral clinician, adjudicator, and music director. Recent BrightSide Theatre credits include Monty Python’s Spamalot, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Thoroughly Modern Millie JR (BrightSide Youth Project), and Guys and Dolls.