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Ellicott City: Talent a big part of the success of 'Hairspray'

If you heard roars of laughter and cheering coming from Mt. Hebron High School July 14, that was the sell-out crowd at Howard County Summer Theater's production of "Hairspray." I had the pleasure of being in the audience with my family.

With its explosive high energy, brilliant casting and talented musicians, the show could easily have been a Broadway production. This is no small feat when you consider it took the orchestration of over one hundred and forty people, including cast, creative, musicians and crew, to bring Hairspray to fruition.

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Almost half of this talented team hail from Ellicott City.

Kudos to the musical's production team — Tom Sankey, director; Amanda Tschirgi, choreographer; Chris Hettenbach, music director; Laural Clark, costumes; Mark Crampton, props; Kevin George, orchestra director; Kit Schaefer, box office sales director; Joe Blasko, set design; and Lisa Ellis, wig mistress.

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Headlining the musical were Caitlin Grant (Tracy Turnblad), Stephen Namie (Edna Turnblad), Todd Hochkeppel (Wilbur Turnblad), Maggie Dransfield and Kassie Mattera (taking turns as Amber Von Tussle), Marloe Lippert (Velma Von Tussle), Laura Tschirgi (Penny Pingleton), Cameron Cox (Seaweed Stubbs), Zac Brightbill (Link Larkin), Heidi Bertaux (Prudy Pingleton), Tommy Malek (Corny Collins), Kay-Megan Washington (Motornouth Maybelle), Naomi Abankwah (Little Inez), Keshia Smith, Mallory Walker, and Natalee Lowe (Dynamites), Scott Pfeifer (Mr. Pinky), Thom Platt (Mr. Spritzer) and Robbie Babbitt (jail matron).

Rounding out the cast were the talented ensemble members, including:

Nick Allen, Chuck Bagley, Olivia Barnum, Carole Baumann, Tyler Bentley, Renee Bertaux, Kristen Clark, Laural Clark, Stephanie Clark, Amy Comberiate, Marisa Conway, Sandy Cromwell, Lawrence Custis, Levin Custis, Lily Discepolo, Stephen Dransfield, Scarlett Forgrave, Bethany Garrett-Taylor, Stephanie Gertler, Lauren Goodwin, Cristina Gregory, Brittany Gutierrez, Jordan Harvin, Emma Hawks, Joe Humm, Ila Jackson, Nabilah Kabir, Taylor Kinsella, Jesse Kinstler, Doug Kook, Jillian Kumar, Wendy Kumar, Jennifer Lucas, Brenda Mack, Anjali Mahadevia, Christina Mattera, Tim McCloskey, Carrie Meeder, Justin Moe, Nathan Moe, Naill Musonda, Justin Neeley, Zack Neil, Emily Nupp, Fatima Raposo, Katie Rasmussen, Patrick Rasmussen, Gary Reichard, Kayla Reichard, Kelsey Reichard, Emily Reiss, Brady Richards, BJ Robertson, Nathan Rosen, Paul Salazar, Emily Schumm, Becca Stanford, Jeff Stanford, Melissa Stanford, Ben Tschirgi, Emma Vo, Karen Walker, Rose Wallace, Katiana Weems, Marian Wheltle, Carey Whittenberger, Maddie Zins

Congratulations to the entire Hairspray cast and crew for a wonderful summer run. For more information go to Howard County Summer Theater's website at http://www.howardcountysummertheatre.org.

On Thursday, July 26, from 6 to 8 p.m., the Kinderman, Columbia's legendary children's entertainer, will perform at the Dorsey Search Village Hall as part of the Center's free Courtyard Summer Concert Series every Thursday night starting at 6 p.m.

It's a great opportunity to go outdoors for dinner (bring your own or purchase it from one of the many village stores) and a enjoy free live entertainment.

If you miss tonight's performance, there are a few more left — the Patty Reese Duo on Aug. 2, Mr. Dave of D's Magic on August 9, the Bay Jazz Project on Aug. 16, and Blues Rock band Automatic Slim on Aug. 23. Concerts are weather-permitting. Go to the Columbia Village Center website at http://www.columbiavillagecenters.com, then click the Dorsey Search Village Center hyperlink for more information.

Founded by Centennial resident Arleen Dinneen, the 34th annual Centennial Fun Run has only two more runs left for the season. Sponsored by the Howard County Striders, the runs are a family-oriented, summertime one-mile course that winds through Centennial neighborhood streets. The next run is Tuesday, Aug. 7, at 7:30 p.m., themed Neighborhood Night Out with the Howard County Police Department and Chalk Night.

Then the season concludes with the Partner's Relay run on Tuesday, Aug. 14, at 7 p.m., complete with an awards ceremony and pizza party. Each run is 50 cents per person.

All Fun Runs begin in front of Dinneen's house at 10114 Colonial Drive in Ellicott City. For more information, call Arleen Dinneen at 410-465-7735 or go to the Striders website at http://www.striders.net, where you'll find a hyperlink to "Centennial Fun Run" under the heading "Upcoming Events".

Save the date. Glenelg Country School will host the third annual Dragon Dash Scholarship Run & Walk on Oct. 6, at 9 a.m. This event includes a cross-country 5K run, a 1-mile family walk and a new kids' race.

For event details contact Glenelg Country School's Evelyn Johnson at 410-531-7370 or at event@glenelg.org.

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