John Travolta played Edna in the movie Hairspray, and this time around for Theatre Ancaster’s Hairspray production, Loren Lieberman, artistic director of Festival of Friends and celebrated actor/director from a decade of Tivoli stage productions, will reprise his role of Edna.
“I met and talked with John Waters, who wrote and directed the movie,” said Lieberman, “and it’s an honour to perform his work.”
Edna is a tour de force role for an actor. As the mother of plus-size heroine Tracy Turnblatt, she supports and encourages her daughter and her daughter’s friends as they integrate a teen dance show in the world of 1960s Baltimore. Edna doesn’t back down from anything or anyone.
“Edna is a very funny role about serious issues,” said Lieberman. “To address social change with shaved legs and high heels, what could be better than that?”
Lieberman is not new to challenges. He’s recently taken on the position of entertainment director for the Carmen’s Group at the Hamilton Convention Centre. That will take him to many entertainment centres, but he will still make time for the local arts community. Playing opposite Lieberman is Charlie Landoni as Edna’s husband, Wilbur. Landoni has made a number of roles his own from comic gangster in Guys and Dolls to the beloved Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.
“Edna’s hilarious. She’s drop-dead funny and quite unpredictable,” says Landoni. “Working with Loren keeps you fresh. We play off each other. At the last dance rehearsal, Edna wanted to lead. I had to set her straight.”
There is lots of singing, dancing and fun in store for the whole family at Hairspray.
All performances take place in the 700-seat Theatre Auditorium at Ancaster High. Hairspray opens Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. with additional evening performances Nov. 17, 23, 24, 30 and Dec. 1. Matinees take place Nov. 18, 25 and Dec. 1 at 2 p.m. Check TheatreAncaster.com for additional information.
Tickets for Hairspray are now available at the Theatre Ancaster Main Stage box office, 374 Jerseyville Rd. W. Personal selection of tickets may be made between 6 and 8 p.m. weeknights and two hours before all performances. Tickets may also be reserved by calling 905-304-SHOW (7469).