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Hip Performers Dazzle Suwanee Show-Goers

'Hairspray' and 'Rapunzel's Twist' make for a good Broadway In The Park.

A fab group of cool cats and chicks twisted and shimmied as the Suwanee Performing Arts casts of “Hairspray” and the original “Rapunzel’s Twist” rocked the stage over the weekend at Town Center Park. Hundreds of fans turned out and were treated to performances by some of the hippest talent in the area.

“Hairspray,” the story of the overweight Tracy Turnblad (Nicole Ojeda-Johns), who fights for the right to dance on the Corny Collins Show, was inspiring and just plain fun. Collins is played by Sam Weyen.

Stopped dead in her feet-tapping tracks by Velma Von Tussle (Abigail Capri) and her equally obnoxious daughter Amber (Hannah Spoerke), Tracy eventually becomes an overnight sensation on the show and subsequently brings the civil rights movement to Baltimore.

In the meantime, the well-played tension between Tracy and Amber keep the audience pulling for good to overcome evil as the two fight over handsome Link Larkin (Isaac Davis) throughout the show.

Edna Turnblad (Greg Oliver) keeps the laughs coming as Tracy’s endearing, very plus-size mother who suffers from agoraphobia. Their duet to “Welcome to the 60’s” is a truly memorable mother-daughter moment.

The entire cast of “Hairspray” brought the show to life in rollicking form as they rocked out with heart-pumping energy to each and every song and dance number, all the way to the contagious, high-energy finale of “You Can’t Stop the Beat.”

The original “Rapunzel’s Twist” brought a younger, equally talented cast of hipsters to the stage. These wigged-out actors presented a light-hearted delightful 1960’s spin on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale.

The lovable modern-day Rapunzel (Abby Woolard) is abandoned at the beauty parlor and rescued by Bee the beautician (Abby Hamilton).

Because she is afraid of losing Rapunzel to the vain, cruel world, Bee tries to protect Rapunzel and tucks her safely in the apartment above the shop. Rapunzel views the world only through her window and television set until she meets the rebellious but charming Mic (Brandon Sully), who rescues her and takes her out on the town.

Bee, who fears she will never have anyone but Rapunzel to love her, finds love with Albert, the Fuller Brush Man, (Robert Gemmel) and finally realizes that the outside world isn’t so vain and cruel after all.

The cast of “Rapunzel’s Twist” brought the characters of this original work to life with their personalities and their own brand of funky coolness that had the audience diggin’ the scene.

The musical score for “Rapunzel’s Twist” was a groovin’ mix of 1960’s faves:  “Downtown,” “The Twist,” “Say a Little Prayer for You” and other well-known hits of the era. Wendy Sorensen, choreographer for “Rapunzel’s Twist,” put together the dance moves for these young talents which included a brilliant number performed by the entire cast to the surfing-themed hit “Wipeout."

Patty Etherton, director of “Hairspray” and co-founder of Suwanee Performing Arts, Teri Khan, the director of ”Rapunzel’s Twist, and the entire the cast and crew put on another fabulous year of Broadway in the Park. 

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