Even before they hit the stage for Lipscomb University Theatre's production of Hairspray, it's pretty clear that cast members Justin Tays, Luciano Vignola, JarEd Martin and Sydni Hayes truly are "the nicest kids in town."
Bringing the hit musical to life for Nashville audiences, which will include a large contingent of alumni in town for homecoming (Hairspray runs November 3-6 in Collins Alumni Auditorium on the David Lipscomb University campus), the large ensemble of more than 40 actors are hard at work, sharpening their skills, running lines, rehearsing like it's nobody's business and immersing themselves in plenty of 1960s pop culture and nostalgia.
Justin Boccitto , who's made a name for himself in New York City - where he teaches at Broadway Dance Center and is one of the visionaries behind The Group Theatre Too - is director and choreographer of LU Theatre's Hairspray, joined on the creative team by musical director Janet, assistant director Deb Holloway, stage manager Marjorie Wood, set/lighting designer David Hardy and costume designer June Kingsbury. Together, they've assembled a crackerjack cast of exciting young actors who, obviously, are having the time of their lives to bring 1960s Baltimore to Music City USA.
So just imagine that it's the 1962-1963 school year and you're about to watch your favorite teens on the hottest televised dance party in town...and get to know LU's "The Nicest Kids in Town"...
Justin Tays aka Harriman F. Spritzer, President of Ultra-Clutch Hairspray
What's your favorite song from the show? My favorite song to dance to in the show is "You Can't Stop The Beat" but my favorite song period is Motormouth's "I Know Where I've Been."
What's been your most fun experience during the whole Hairspray process? My most fun experience during this whole process is just being able to hang out and work with such an fun and talent group of actors and production staff. We have so much fun both in and out of rehearsal that it is going to feel very strange when we close and we do not have anything to do.
American Bandstand or Hullabaloo? American Bandstand for sure! Growing up I would always get to
listen to the Oldies station on the radio in my parents car so this was the first music that I really got to know so I grew up loving the Oldies before anything else.
Tab or Diet Rite? Tab all the way!
Luciano Vignola aka Corny Collins ("His off stage name is CameRon Collins but nobody has to know.)
What's your favorite song from the show? That's such a difficult question because each song is awesome in its own way. But the one that stands out above the rest is "Hairspray." It's stands out for me because it's very club jazz and has such a smooth, luscious feel to it. Plus it's ridiculous which makes it all the better.
What's been your most fun experience during the whole Hairspray process? My favorite experience was when we gathered in a circle and went through each character in the cast. We all said our name and what we wanted along with a bold choice of movement. Seeing everybody's choices really excited me and brought me closer to who they are and how they affect my character. Also it was incredible seeing all the different ideas. I am blessed to be in such a talented cast.