‘You Can’t Stop the Beat’ as ‘Hairspray’ swings into Issaquah

The Village Theatre will run the production in Issaquah from May 10 through July 1.

Village Theatre is closing out their season with an all-new stage production of the Broadway hit musical, “Hairspray”.

“What excites me about this show,” said co-director Timothy McCuen Piggee in a press release, “is that we get to tell stories that humanize in a world that constantly works to dehumanize. This play is really clever because it offers the opportunity to examine issues like racism, sizeism, homophobia, and bias. This show is thoughtful and courageous and I’m excited to bring it to life with such a strong team of individuals.”

Hairspray will be the last show for co-director Steve Tomkins as Village Theatre’s artistic director.

“I’ve been ready and excited for this day for a long time,” he said in a press release. “Hairspray is one of the funniest and most delightful musicals ever. As we’ve been working, we’ve discovered all the depth and layers involved in this show. It takes place in the 1960s, but the message is relevant and perfect for today.”

After 25 years of dedicated leadership, Tomkins announced his plans to retire last October. With the Opening of Hairspray, Tomkins has directed 64 Mainstage productions, many of which he also choreographed, and helped to propel Village Theatre forward by ensuring that programming is accessible and appealing to audiences from all walks of life.

Together with Executive Producer Robb Hunt, Tomkins has helped cultivate the organization into the largest fully producing theatre in the Pacific Northwest, with five buildings in two cities, 20,000 Season Ticket holders, and an annual operating budget of $13.2 million.

Making her Village Theatre debut as Tracy Turnblad is Callie Williams. Joining her are Nick DeSantis (Les Misérables) as Edna Turnblad, Jason Kappus (National Tour of Jersey Boys and Legally Blonde) as Corny Collins, Shaunyce Omar (My Heart is the Drum, Chicago) as Motormouth Maybelle, Beth DeVries (Les Misérables) and Tori Grasham as mother and daughter duo Velma and Amber Von Tussle, Ethan Carpenter (Disney’s Newsies) as teen heartthrob Link Larkin, Becca Orts (Mary Poppins, Funny Girl) as Penny Pingleton, Charles Simmons (Dreamgirls) as Seaweed J. Stubbs, Belle Pugh and Jayden Terry-Olson as Little Inez, Peter Cook (Cabaret) as goofy dad Wilbur Turnblad, John X Deveney as Mr. Pinky, and Christine Riippi as Prudy Pingleton. Rounding out the ensemble is Tate Busby, William Dean, Alexandria Henderson, Carly Squires Hutchison, Jordan Jackson, Stephanie Anne Johnson, Elena Joyner, Claire Marx, John David Scott, Jimmy Shields, Jasmine Jean Sim, Chandler T., and Imani Woodley.

Joining co-directors Steve Tomkins and Timothy McCuen Pigge are choreographer Crystal Dawn Munkers, music director R.J. Tancioco, scenic designer Carey Wong, lighting designer Michael Gilliam, costume designer Alex Jaeger, and resident sound designer Brent Warwick.

Hairspray is onstage in Issaquah May 10 through July 1 before moving to Village Theatre’s Everett location from July 6 through 29. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the website at https://villagetheatre.org/hairspray.php.