OFFBEAT: Theater queen Tammy Mader returning to 1960s, but off stage, for 'Hairspray'

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2012-04-06T00:00:00Z 2012-05-14T12:01:51Z OFFBEAT: Theater queen Tammy Mader returning to 1960s, but off stage, for 'Hairspray'By Philip Potempa, (219) 852-4327

Chicago stage favorite Tammy Mader spent last summer swimming in the music and wardrobe of the 1960s while starring in "Shout!," the pop music revue tackled by Rachel Rockwell at Marriott Theatre Lincolnshire.

Next week, Mader is making a return to the swinging 60's, but this time, she's behind the curtain as the director and choreographer for the Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook's run of the musical "Hairspray."

It starts previews April 12, opens April 19, and runs through June 17.

Mader also served as the director and choreographer for Drury Lane Theatre's critically acclaimed "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story," and the choreographer of Drury Lane Theatre's "Spamalot," "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers," and most recently, "Gypsy."

The all-star cast is led by Lillian Castillo as "Tracy Turnblad;" Michael Lindner as "Edna Turnblad" (fresh from the national tour of "Mamma Mia!" and Drury Lane Theatre's "Ragtime"); Felicia Fields as "Motormouth Maybelle" (and a Tony Award nominee for Best Featured Actress in "The Color Purple" on Broadway); Tim Kazurinsky of "Saturday Night Live" fame is playing "Wilbur Turnblad;" Erik Altemus as "Link Larkin;" Holly Lyn Laurent as "Amber" (just off the national tour of "Rock of Ages") and Jon Michael Reese as "Seaweed J. Stubbs."

Based on the 1988 John Waters cult classic film, "Hairspray" ran for 2,500 performances on Broadway and won eight Tony Awards including Best Musical in 2003. The production also won eleven Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Musical, in 2003, as well as the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical in 2007. 

It also inspired the Golden Globe-nominated 2007 film remake starring John Travolta

The production features music by five-time Oscar nominee Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman, and a book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan.

The upbeat score includes rhythm and blues and oldies-inspired songs "You Can't Stop the Beat," "Welcome to the 60's," and "Hairspray."

Set in 1960's Baltimore, "Hairspray" is the exuberant story of big-hearted, pleasantly plump teen Tracy Turnblad, who does whatever it takes to fulfill her lifelong dream of appearing on the popular Corny Collins Show. It's a feel-good musical that's a glorious celebration of following dreams and standing up for what's right.

This run also stars Joshlyn Lomax as "Little Inez;" Rebecca Pink as "Penny;" Holly Stauder as "Prudy Pingleton;" Jeff Award winner Rod Thomas as "Corny Collins;" Keely Vasquez as "Velma Von Tussle" and Jeff Award nominee George Andrew Wolff as "Harriman F. Spitzer." 

The ensemble features Christopher Carter; Andrea Collier; Jeff Award-nominee Dina DiCostanzo; Jackson Evans; Reneisha Jone'ne Jenkins; Tiffany Johnson; Alex McCrary as "Brad;" Amy Orman; Nelson Green as "Stooie;" Thomas Ortiz; Travis Porchia; Carly Robinson; Sawyer Smith; and Sean Walton, along with Alexis J. Rodgers, Lisa Estridge and Donica Lynn.

The 1960s will be brought to vibrant life with a set by Marcus Stephens, lighting by Charlie Cooper and costume and wig design by Kurt Alger of Maine State Music Theatre. Ariane Dolan serves as assistant choreographer, props design is by Joel Lambie, sound design is by Jeff Award winner Ray Nardelli, and musical direction is by Jeff Award winner Malcolm Ruhl.

Tickets are $35 to $68 depending on the day of the week and dinner show packages. Student tickets start as low as $20 and Senior Citizen tickets start as low as $30 for matinees and $44.75 for a matinee luncheon package. For reservations, call the Drury Lane Theatre box office at (630) 530-0111 or visit

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at or (219) 852-4327.




Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Movies & Theater


Enter your Zip code below to see local movie listings:

TV Listings

Enter your ZIP code below to see local listings.
Get weekly ads via e-mail

Featured Businesses