Meet the Cast of Hairspray
(Edna Turnblad) Broadway: Something Rotten! (Tony Award nomination), Big Fish, Nice Work If You Can Get It, The Addams Family, Spamalot, The Producers (Tony Award nomination), Jekyll & Hyde, Aspects of Love. National tour: The Phantom of the Opera, Young Frankenstein, Jekyll & Hyde. West End: The Producers. Off-Broadway: Sweeney Todd (Barrow Street), Forbidden Broadway. Encores! Annie Get Your Gun, Bells Are Ringing and Do Re Mi. Regional: The Squirrels (La Jolla Playhouse), Fiddler on the Roof (Barrington Stage), Barnum (Asolo Rep/Maltz Jupiter—Carbonell Award, Best Actor in a Musical), The Mystery of Irma Vep, Cabaret and Damn Yankees (Arena Stage), The First Wives Club (Old Globe). Film: Ghost Town, The Producers. Television: “Madam Secretary,” “Smash,” “The Good Wife” and three “Law & Order” appearances.
(Tracy Turnblad) is thrilled to be making her Starlight debut in this dream role! A KC native, Jessica grew up training at Miller Marley School of Dance and Voice and MTKC. She has performed with many theatre companies across the Kansas City metropolitan area including Theatre in the Park, The Barn Players, The White Theatre, H&R Block city stage, Arts Asylum, Music Theatre Heritage, Just Off Broadway Theatre and the Kauffman Center. Her most memorable roles include Tracy Turnblad (Hairspray), Princess Fiona (Shrek), Paulette (Legally Blonde) and Little Becky Two Shoes (Urinetown). When Jessica isn’t living out her dreams onstage, she is a cosmetologist at Indigo Rose Salon in Mission.
(Velma Von Tussle) is delighted to return to Starlight where she has performed in productions of Grease, The Producers and The Sound of Music. She appeared in Funny Money at The New Theatre, How to Steal a Picasso at the Unicorn Theatre, and Musical Theater Heritage’s concert production of Sweeney Todd. She also portrays the Hallmark greeting card character “Maxine.”
(Corny Collins) returns to Starlight after playing Kenicke in last summer’s production of Grease. Regional credits include Robert Kincaid in The Bridges of Madison County, Jean Valjean in Les Misérables, Harold Hill in The Music Man, Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls, Hank Williams in Hank Williams: Lost Highway, Jerry Lukowski in The Full Monty, Bernard in Boeing Boeing and Ben Hecht in Moonlight and Magnolias. dondentonactor.com
(Link Larkin) is thrilled to return to Starlight for a third year after appearing in their productions of The Sound of Music and Grease! He is presently touring with the Broadway production The Book of Mormon after graduating with a BFA from Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and Drama. His credits also include Les Miserables, Parade, Carrie: The Musical and Legally Blonde.
(Penny Pingleton) is so happy to be revisiting one of her favorite pals, Penny! Performances include: Skylight (Kansas City Actors Theatre), Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Sherlock Holmes and…the Great Nome Gold Rush (North Coast Rep), Chesapeake, Heathers, Women Playing Hamlet, Vera Stark, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Unicorn), Lucky Duck (New Victory), Evita, Sunday In The Park With George, Sweeney Todd, 1776 (MTH), Flat Stanley (Starlight), Seussical, Life On The Mississippi, U:Bug:Me (Coterie), Into the Woods (KC Rep). www.katiekarel.com
(Male Authority Figure) previously appeared in the Starlight Theatre Children’s Series productions of Flat Stanley and Narnia. Recent credits: The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Actors Theatre of Indiana), Into the Woods, Kiss Me Kate, Evita, The Music Man (Musical Theater Heritage), My Fair Lady and Fiddler on the Roof (Tent Theatre) and Sunday in the Park with George (Kansas City Repertory Theatre). tjlancaster.com
(Motormouth Maybelle) has heard a lot about Kansas City style ribs and is here to try them out…Oh, and also make her debut at the gorgeous Starlight Theatre! WEEEE!!! Regina is a native Angeleno and has performed all over the world. Favorite credits include: Once On This Island (Asaka), Frozen: At the Hyperion Theatre (Bulda), Nine (Liliane LaFleur) Jelly’s Last Jam (Hunnie) and Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Amelia).
(Female Authority Figures) has performed in regional theatres around the country and in eight national tours, traveling throughout the USA, Canada, Japan, Korea and China. Highlights include: Les Misérables (Chinese premiere with Colm Wilkinson and Hairspray Director, Jerry Jay Cranford!), Lincoln Center’s South Pacific, National Theatre of Great Britain’s My Fair Lady, La Cage Aux Folles, and Deaf West Theatre’s acclaimed production of Big River.
(Amber Von Tussle) is an Emerson College graduate and recently performed as a lead vocalist aboard Rhapsody of the Seas with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Regional credits include Mamma Mia at ACT of Connecticut (Ali), Rock of Ages, Titanic, The Little Mermaid at Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre, Shrek: The Musical (Gingy) and Peter Pan (Tiger Lily) at The Palace Theatre. www.erin-riley.com
(Wilber Turnblad) returns to the Starlight stage for the first time since The Sound of Music in 2014 and Mary Poppins in 2015. He has worked extensively with Kansas City Repertory Theatre, the Unicorn, American Heartland Theatre, Kansas City Actors’ Theatre, the Coterie and the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival. His most recent Kansas City appearance was as Claudius in Hamlet.
(Little Inez Stubbs) is ecstatic to make her debut at Starlight Theatre. Ruffin received her B.A. in theater performance from K-State. Other productions in KC include Elephant and Piggie and Charlie Brown Christmas at The Coterie, West Side Story at Spinning Tree, Hairspray at New Theatre, Jitney at the MET, Heathers at Unicorn Theatre, Dreamgirls in Concert at Black Rep Theater and Brother Toad and Christmas Carol at KC Rep.
STEPHEN SCOTT WORMLEY
(Seaweed J. Stubbs) Off-Broadway: Black Nativity Now! International tour: Disney on Classic with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. NYC theatre: Playwrights Horizons: Hart Song, NYU Tisch: Awakened. Regional tour: Ordway: In the Heights (Benny). Regional: Signature Theatre: The Scottsboro Boys (Mr.Bones), Jellys Last Jam, Hairspray (Helen Hayes Award). Rep Stage: Dorian’s Closet (Dorian). Syracuse Stage: Ain’t Misbehavin’. Barter Theatre: Les Misérables (Marius), Tarzan (Terk). Overture Center: Big Fish (Will). Olney Theatre Center: Once On This Island.
(Ensemble, Dynamite) is over the moon about making her Starlight debut in one of her favorite productions. She’s performed with the Unicorn Theatre, Coterie, MET, KC Rep, MTH, Egads Theatre Co and Theatre for Young America. A 2018 graduate of UMKC’s MFA Actor Training Program, Chioma is excited to leap back into this rich community of artists!
(Ensemble, Council Member) is excited to be returning to Starlight in Hairspray after being a part of the Blue Star Ensemble for Footloose and Aladdin. Justin is currently pursuing a BFA in Acting from the University of Oklahoma and has appeared in many productions there including Noises Off! (Roger/Gary), Curtains (Harv) and Love’s Labours Lost (Longaville).
(Ensemble, Council Member) is excited to be making her Starlight debut. She is a graduate of Ball State University where she earned a BFA in Musical Theatre with a dance minor. Some favorite previous roles include: Millie (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Maria (The Sound of Music) and Sally Brown (You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown).
KELLY TAYLOR BROWN
(Ensemble, Council Member) Starlight Theatre debut! Select credits: national tour of Hair, Ella in Ella Enchanted (MTI Composers Workshop) and musical film Life of an Actress. Offstage, Kelly is a voice teacher, accompanist, songwriter and voiceover artist. kellytaylorbrown.com
(Ensemble) is making his Starlight debut in Hairspray. Kansas City: Coterie Theatre, MTH, Spinning Tree Theatre. Regional: Children’s Theatre of Madison, Milwaukee Repetory Theatre Emerging Professional Resident, First Stage. @darringtune
(Ensemble, Council Member) is thrilled to be back at Starlight Theatre. Originally from Overland Park, this NY resident actor’s favorite credits include: A Chorus Line (Mike/Mark), Oklahoma (Will Parker), All Shook Up (Dean Hyde), Beauty and the Beast (Cogsworth) and Seussical (Cat in the Hat). A graduate of Viterbo University with a BFA in Music Theatre.
(Ensemble, Council Member) is ecstatic to be back in the place that sparked his love of theatre. From season ticket holder to performer, Starlight has a special place in his heart. Regional credits include Starlight in Xanadu and Cinderella, Pittsburgh CLO in Altar Boyz, Interlakes Theater in Rat Pack in Love and internationally aboard Holland America Cruise Lines.
(Ensemble, Council Member) is tickled pink to be returning to Starlight after Grease and as an alum of the Starlight Stars program (2010). Regional: Footloose (Cortland Rep), Spring Awakening (Hangar Theatre), Les Miserablés and Disney’s The Little Mermaid (TriArts Sharon Playhouse), Chicago (Music Theatre Kansas City). TV: “SNL.” BFA: NYU Tisch. Miller Marley and MTKC alum.
(Ensemble, Dance Captain) earned Starlight’s first Vincent Legacy Scholarship in 2006 at the age of 13. She’s since worked as a seasonal teaching artist and choreographer for Starlight’s educational camps. Courtney’s professional debut was in the ensemble of Grease at Starlight last summer. She’s back as ensemble and dance captain for Hairspray!
(Ensemble) is a junior Musical Theatre major at Missouri State University. She will be graduating in the spring of 2020 with a Bachelors of Fine Art. Born in Kansas City, Mo., she recently finished the school’s run of their production of Heathers the Musical, where she played Heather McNamara.
(Ensemble, Council Member) is making her Starlight debut in Hairspray and she couldn’t be more thrilled! Recent credits include: Demeter in Cats (Music Theater Heritage), a Birdgirl in Seussical and Andrina in The Little Mermaid (Cape Fear Regional Theater), Kate Monster in Avenue Q (MTKC) and Liza in Seven Brides For Seven Brothers (Circa 21).
ANDRE DARNELL MYERS
(Ensemble) is thrilled to be performing in Hairspray. Recent credits include: Dreamgirls (national tour), Seussical (national tour), Hairspray (Tuacahn Theater), Chicago and Hair. Commercials for McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Toyota and Skype. Andre is currently the lead in “Cheetah in August” (Amazon). Film credits: Leave It On The Floor, I Am Gangster, The Breakout and Larry Crowne. @PrinceADM www.OfficialADM.com
(Ensemble) As a Chicago native, Aramie is thrilled to be back in the Midwest at Starlight! Recent credits: The Scottsboro Boys (Signature Theatre), Dreamgirls Korean tour, Flashdance the Musical national tour, Mamma Mia! (Marriott Theatre). @mynameisaramie
(Ensemble, Council Member) is ecstatic to join Kansas City Starlight! Favorite credits include Riff in West Side Story and Pepper in Mamma Mia! (Rocky Mountain Repertory), Mike Costa in A Chorus Line (Uptown Players), Napthalie/Apache Dancer in Joseph (The Arvada Center), Spamalot (Casa Mañana) and Kiss Me Kate (Virginia Musical Theatre). @itsm_russell itsmichaelrussell.com
(Ensemble, Dynamite) is thrilled to make her Starlight debut. Born and raised in Atlanta, Krystle sang her way through life. Regional credits include Memphis (MTW), The Baby Dance: Mixed (Rubicon Theater), The Christians (CTG), Sophisticated Ladies (Atlanta Lyric Theater) and Smoky Joe’s (Highlands Playhouse). AEA member, NAACP nominee and Inland Theatre award winner.
(Ensemble, Dynamite) is delighted to be at Starlight Theatre. She is currently a junior at Creighton University, pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre. Previous shows include: Newsies (Katherine Plumber), Bonnie & Clyde (Blanche Barrow), Now. Here. This. (Woman 1) and The Little Mermaid (Ariel).
(Ensemble) Past roles: George Murchison in Raisin in the Sun, Topper in A Christmas Carol (KC Rep), Marty the Zebra in Madagascar – A Musical Adventure, Snoopy in A Charlie Brown Christmas and Boy in The Cat in the Hat (Coterie Theatre), The Brothers Size (Unicorn Theatre) and West Side Story (Spinning Tree Theatre). Proud AEA member.
BLUE STAR TEEN ENSEMBLE
The Blue Star Teen Ensemble in Hairspray is made up of 8 talented high school performers whose schools participate in Starlight’s Blue Star Awards program. The ensemble members are: Janie Carr, Joey Ferguson, Katie Hulla, Holly Jackson, Amari Lewis, Karie Venteicher, Megan Walstrom and Savanna Worthington.