Local stars set Hairspray ablaze

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 102 views 

Rogers Little Theater’s production of the smash hit Hairspray, opening Friday (Feb. 10) at Victory Theater, features some behind-the-scenes talent from a local television news anchor and up-and-coming choreographer who grew up in Rogers.

Zach Denison, once an RLT regular who now makes a living as a dancer and performer in New York, learned the Hairspray dances from the musical’s original Broadway choreographer, Jerry Mitchell, and modified the moves to fit the local stage.

“Because the show deals with the Corny Collins Show (an American Bandstand-type show), dance is so important to the look and feel of the show,” said director Ed McClure. “That is why we wanted to reach out and challenge ourselves with Broadway dances performed by our local performers.”

In addition, Brad Reed, lead anchor for Fox 24-TV News Edge plays the role of television newscaster in the show. Because Reed’s 9 p.m. newscast prevents him from appearing two cities away in downtown Rogers, his lines are being recorded for replay each night. However, he’ll be on stage for the Feb. 18 performance, McClure said.

Reed is also a homeboy, with roots in Springdale and a degree from the University of Arkansas.

Hairspray deals with racial integration in 1962 Baltimore, and RLT is sponsoring an art exhibit to bring attention to Black Music History Month. Through the end of the month, works by Kinya Elenbarger be on display in the lobby of Victory Theater. One of the works in her collection will be featured during the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (www.asalh.org) Black History Month celebration in Washington, D.C.

Performances for Hairspray are Feb. 10-12, 16-19 and 23-26 with a special presentation for lovers on Feb. 14. Prices for dinner theater seating are $45; balcony seating is $16. Valentineʼs Day Spectacular tickets are $140 per couple.

RLT is one of the first local community theaters to tackle this fast-paced musical. Tickets can be purchased at the Rogers Little Theater website.