Hairspray opens with strong voices, funny dialogue

The Theatre at AACC’s opening night of Hairspray had knock out performances from the lead actors.


Nikko Maresca

The lead actors in Hairspray perform with strong vocals and keep up with fast-paced dancing.

Coleman Guthrie, Reporter

The Theatre at AACC debuted the award-winning Broadway musical ‘Hairspray’ in the Robert E. Kauffman Theater this November.

The show, directed by adjunct instructor AnnMarie T. Saunders, opened to faculty, students and community members on Nov. 9 at 8 p.m.

AACC’s rendition of ‘Hairspray’ is entertaining, with excellent singing performances and humorous dialogue. Plus, added original jokes that fit well for the audience.

Starring as leading lady Tracy Turnblad, Annie Gorenflo wraps the audience up in the exciting world of 1960’s Baltimore, with the hit song “Good Morning Baltimore.”

Gorenflo brings an energy and passion to stage that unites her fellow performers and inspires the audience with optimism.

Tracy’s parents, Wilbur and Edna, played by Alec Moyes and Jonas Pallaro-Sonneborn, left the audience in stitches all evening, and both actors carried the theatergoers through a hilarious routine of song and dance.

Pallaro-Sonneborn did not disappoint while singing “Mama, I’m a Big Girl Now.”

The college’s production of this Boradway hit stars Kylie Sjolie as Velma Von Tussle, Johnny Dunkerly as Link Larkin, Katie Laubert as Amber Von Tussle, Izzy Amor as Seaweed J. Stubbs, Allison Vallario as Penny Pingleton, Michael Parks as Corny Collins and Genesis Hayes as Motormouth Maybelle.

Hayes’s performance of “I Know Where I’ve Been,” about overcoming racial injustice, was a stand-out moment in the show, her powerful voice summoned an uproar from the audience when she was done singing.

The cast also includes Karlee Allen, Kiya Cohen, Kennedy Cole, Elizabeth Darby, Simon Hertz, Cheyenne Jones, Amanda Matousek, Amy Matousek, Fayth Strain, Samuel Taylor, Laura Temples, Josiah Thompson, Meridian Toalepai and Luke Vogel.

Shout out to the ensemble–Shawn Cook Jr., Charlene Cowan, Lauryn Damron, Duane Davis, Arianna Jewell, Mycheal Lewis, Makenzie Mitchell, Hadar Pohl and Goldie Watts–who brought the acting to life.

As always, the choreography by Lynda Fitzgerald was on point.

The production was possible thanks to Musical Director TJ Lukacsina and Vocal Director Carolyn Golrick Bressler.

The cast will return to the stage Nov.16 and 17 at 8 p.m. and on Nov. 11 and 18 at 2 p.m.

General admission is $20; Faculty, staff, senior citizens and student admission is $15; AACC

students’ admission is $10 (advance sales only); and for all students after Nov. 9 it is $15.