Get out your hair lacquer and teasing comb. "Hairspray" is coming to town, thanks to Peacock Players & Company, which brings the hit Broadway musical to life over the next two weekends at the Janice B. Streeter Theatre, 14 Court St., Nashua, N.H.
It's a big, bold musical about one girl's inspiring dream to dance. The winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, it's family-friendly and piled bouffant hairdo-high with love, laughter and dance-happy tunes.
Set in Baltimore in 1962, "Hairspray" tells the story of the lovable, plus-size teen Tracy Turnblad, whose biggest desire is to dance on the popular "Corny Collins Show." When her dream comes true, Tracy transforms from social outcast to sudden star. And she uses her newfound power to dethrone the reigning teen queen, win the affections of heartthrob Link Larkin and integrate a television network -- all without putting a dent in her upswept 'do.
Lots of local talent is featured in the cast. Elsa Keefe of Lowell plays Penny Pingleton, Tracy's BFF. The rest of the ensemble is rounded out with an array of young theater performers, including Paige Naumnik of Dracut, Sydney Baron and Adam Lavoie of Chelmsford, Aren Truex and Avery Cheeks of Groton, John Misch of Pepperell, and Caitlin Johnson of Townsend.
Peacock's artistic director, Keith Weirich, a Broadway veteran, is the director, with Henry Kopczynskie III and Cristina White serving as musical director and choreographer, respectively. Weinrich said he loves that "Hairspray" has the "ability to not accept the world as it was, but to break down barriers and believe in a better world. It's an entertaining, clever story that gives us a chance to enjoy the nostalgia of the '60s through its music and toe-tapping dance.
Performances are Fridays, May 11,18, 7 p.m.; Saturdays, May 12,19, 2 and 7 p.m.; and Sundays, May 13, 20, 2 p.m. Tickets $12-$19 on sale at box office at 603-886-7000 or visit www.peacock players.org.
Nancye Tuttle's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the marquee
JUKEBOX FAVORITES: The summer theater season kicks off May 16-June 9 with the jukebox musical "Smokey Joe's Café" at Ogunquit Playhouse, Route 1, Ogunquit, Maine. An electrical, all-new incarnation of the record-breaking Broadway hit, the show celebrates the best songs of the legendary songwriting duo Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, whose generation-defining songs climbed the Billboard charts and provided multiple hits for icons like Elvis Presley, Ben E. King, The Coasters and The Drifters. Among the 30 show-stopping tunes are such classics as "On Broadway," "Yakety Yak," "Charlie Brown," Hound Dog" and "Spanish Harlem." Emmy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Josh Bergasse directs and choreographs the show. Tickets start at $52 and are available at 207-646-5511 or www.ogunquitplayhouse.org.
PREMIERING IN GLOUCESTER: The world premiere of the new musical "Madame Defarge" opens the 39th season at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main St., May 11-June 2. Written by Wendy Kesselman, it is inspired by the Charles Dickens classic "A Tale of Two Cities" and set against the turmoil of the French Revolution. It focuses on two men, similar in looks, but with separate fates who weave a story of sacrifice and salvation driven by Madame Defarge's oppression and longing for love, freedom, justice and revenge. The large cast, directed by Ellie Heyman, features Jennifer Ellis as Madame Defarge, the woman whose revenge sparked a revolution, and Benjamin Evett as her husband Ernest. Performances Wednesday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets $35-$45 at 978-281-4433 or visit www.gloucesterstage.com.
ELVIS IN DRAG: How does an Elvis impersonator become a winning drag queen in the Florida Panhandle? Join audiences at the Greater Boston Stage Company (formerly Stoneham Theatre) to learn how in performances of "The Legend of Georgia McBride." On through May 20, the show is filled with music, laughter and lots of sequins. Russell Garrett, who directs and choreographs, calls the show "a wonderful blend of uproarious humor and heart. It's ultimately about finding your own voice and doing what brings you joy, even when it seems at odds with the way you believe your life should be lived." This Friday, May 11, those in attendance are invited to don blue suede shoes and sequined jumpsuits for Elvis Night. Prizes will be awarded for Best Young Elvis, Best Old Elvis and Best Female Elvis. And someone will simply be crowned "The King." Tickets are $50-$60, adults; $45-$55, seniors and $20, students with valid ID. Call 781-279-2200 or visit www.greaterbostonstage.org.