‘Hairspray’ in Evergreen is dream show for local actress

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Twenty-year-old Bailey Walton plays Tracy Turnblad in what she describes as her dream show, ”Hairspray,” which runs from July 12 to Aug. 4 at the Evergreen Players’ Center/Stage.

She plays the pleasingly plump Baltimore teen who rushes home after school daily to watch the Corny Collins dance show on television, wishing she could be on it.

She says she worked in “Magic Moments” recently with percussionist Tad Worley, who told her about Evergreen’s auditions for “Hairspray.” She landed the part and rehearsals started May 19.

The year is 1962. Tracy lives with her large, shy mother and supportive father in a small apartment where her mother takes in ironing.

When she does get a place on the show, she determines to integrate it, replacing the once a month “Negro Night.” Complications arise and Tracy becomes a leader, dethroning the reigning teen queen and capturing the affections of heartthrob Link Larkin — as well as being an accomplished dancer.

The colorful show has a good story line and many big production numbers. It opened on Broadway in August 2002 and played until January 2009, plus expanding to national tours and a London run. Music is by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Shaiman and Scott Wittman, with book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan. It’s based on the film written and directed by John Waters.

Brenda Billings is director of “Hairspray” and Alane Worley, who worked at Country Dinner Playhouse for many years, is choreographer. The company first rehearsed dance numbers at ATA, the local dance studio Worley and Paul Dwyer operate.

Bailey and her brother and father have performed often over the years at Littleton’s Town Hall Arts Center. Her first show was “Annie” in 2004.

She attended Cherry Creek High School for a year then completed an online high school course because she was working at the Arvada Center.

She became a nanny for Elizabeth and Tim Welch’s daughter and lived in New York with them for six months. (Town Hall fans will remember the couple with operatic voices. Elizabeth landed a job with the touring company of “Phantom of the Opera” and is now working in the show New York, where Tim has opened a voice studio.)

At present, Walton teaches at a child development center during the day and has been teaching dance and acting for Christian Youth Theater, which she plans to resume.

In the fall, she will begin online classes at CU Denver in English, writing and child development, while continuing to teach.

And, of course, she’ll watch the audition notices in case another dream opportunity comes along.

Complicated theater schedules are a given in her family’s Centennial home. She mentioned that her dad will perform in Parker’s upcoming summer production of “Oklahoma” and brother Burke is cast in Boulder Dinner Theatre’s “The Full Monty.”

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