Cast get immersed in colourful musical

SIENA YATES
Last updated 11:53 21/02/2013
Courteney Mayall
Supplied Zoom
Courteney Mayall as Tracy Turnblad.

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Hairspray: The Musical opens this Friday, so here's your chance to meet the cast beforehand for an insight into the talented Hamilton actors and their characters.

From their acting backgrounds to their saucy one-liners and characters you love or love to hate, this is a chance to get an idea of who's who before seeing them in the flesh.

Hairspray comes courtesy of the Hamilton Operatic Society, opening at Founders Theatre, 7.30pm. Tickets from Ticketek.

Courteney Mayall, 28 playing Tracy Turnblad

Tracy Turnblad in three words: Bubbly, positive and infectious

Favourite line: ''Amber Von Tussle you have acne of the soul''.

If not Tracy then who? : Motormouth Maybelle, because of the historical significance of this part, in the story she tells of hope and overcoming hardship, plus the soulful numbers to sing.

Courteney has been doing musicals for roughly seven years and helps out the Operatic Society in hair and make-up, and was ''roped into the show'' when they discovered she could sing.

''I love the part of Tracy and the show itself is one of the musicals that you just have to do, it is so much fun yet it gets a poignant message across,'' she said.

Awhimai Huka, 36, playing Motormouth Mabelle

Mabelle in three words: Protector, Leader, Visionary

Favourite line: (From the movie): ''All shapes and sizes follow me, who wants a twig when you can climb the whole tree?''.

If not Mabelle then who? : Amber Von Tussle - if my appearance allowed me to. She has the best lines - full of sarcasm...and so much potential to draw the audience to hate her and she gets pretty cool dance moves too.

This is Awhimai's first production, having got involved after seeing a niece perform in the Wellington production.

''I wanted to fill my kete with new skills and talents. I wanted to challenge myself by being in a new and unfamiliar environment and I wanted to show our daughters that as well as kapa haka, there are other forms of art to express oneself.''

Lisa Wiles, 33, playing Velma Von Tussle

Velma in three words: Feisty, scheming and dramatic

Favourite line: ''Those poor runners up might still hold some grudges, they padded their cups, but I screwed the judges'' [If that's inappropriate then: ''why not? They do it all the time on lassie'']

If not Velma, then who?  If I had to pick and I was much younger, I would probably pick Amber, she has great lines and her character is hilarious.

Lisa got involved as soon as the Hamilton production was announced - she just knew she had to play Velma and jumped at the chance.

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''I have so much fun with Velma and it's constantly evolving and I love working with such an amazing bunch of people. I love musical theatre, I come from an extremely musical family, and I was lucky enough to have extremely supportive parents who allowed me to get
involved in the theatre from quite a young age.''

Ruby Lyon, 16, playing Penny Lou Pingleton

Penny in three words: Loveable, loyal and sweet

Favourite line: ''You're lucky to get out of the algebra final''

If not Penny, then who? : Seaweed, because he's such a cool character with awesome moves and a heart of gold.

Ruby has been involved with musical theatre all through school, and after playing Mary in The Secret Garden, knew she had to stick with it.

''Hairspray is just so much fun, rich and colourful and hilarious. Every single song is different and the show covers so many genres of music. They also portray the personalities of the characters with so much colour and done so cleverly.''

Nick Wilkinson, 34 playing Corny Collins

Corny in three words: Cheesy, easy and confident

Favourite line: ''Hey baby. You look like you could use a stiff one.''

If not Corny, then who? : Edna Turnblad because of the great lines, songs and it's perfectly normal to want to dress up like a housewife.

Nick has been involved in the the arts scene for 15 years, appearing in many musicals with the Hamilton Operatic Society.

''I got involved with Hairspray as...the team charged with putting it together are amongst the most talented in Hamilton and New Zealand. [The best thing] is being part of such a huge production that takes the audience on a roller-coaster ride that balances issues of civil rights and prejudice perfectly, while maintaining comedic and feel-good essence of the story.'

- Waikato

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