By Frankie Kujawa
HAIRSPRAY, Broadway’s Tony Award-winning musical phenomenon, is back on tour! Running through Sunday, June 19th at Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre, HAIRSPRAY is the story of 16-year-old Tracy Turnblad who sets out to dance her way onto the most popular TV’s show in 1960’s Baltimore - The Corny Collins Show. Performer Billy Dawson plays Corny Collins in the Charm City-set musical. The Indiana-native, whose artistic talents catapulted them to perform as far as Japan, chatted about the upcoming performance.
Frankie Kujawa: How does it feel to perform HAIRSPRAY, a musical that is iconic of Baltimore, right here in Charm City at the Hippodrome Theatre?
Billy Dawson: It is absolutely wild! It feels like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We are so excited to share this story with Baltimore. It’d definitely going to be a super, magical night!
Frankie Kujawa: Can you describe what you hope to bring to your performance in the role of Corny Collins?
Billy Dawson: Whenever I do a masterclass or do a ‘talk back’ with students, I always say you should that bring yourself to each role you do. I am excited to bring a little bit of Billy Dawson to the Baltimore stage, along with Corny Collins, too. We are both very similar on our stance regarding equity, equality, and inclusion. Also, as Corny I get to peek through the 4th wall of the stage and play with audiences, as well. That’s a lot of fun, too!
Frankie Kujawa: Is there anything specific you hope to accomplish while here in Charm City during the show’s run?
Billy Dawson: We’re [in Baltimore] for a week, and that’s a decent amount of time for us. The first thing we always do is hunt for the best coffee shop. I definitely want to sample a lot of the local cuisine and check out the local haunts. One of my best friends is also in the musical, so we go for walks around town and do a little shopping, as well.
Frankie Kujawa: Why do you think HAIRSPRAY is beloved by so many audiences?
Billy Dawson: My elevator pitch is that [HAIRSPRAY] is 'a party that makes you think. ' It’s the perfect mix of emotion and fun. The thing about HAIRSPRAY is I think that it’s more relevant now than it was twenty years ago when it was viewed. When the Black Lives Matters movement began it took the blinders off many people. In this musical, you feel every emotion. You will laugh, cry, and get up and dance!
For more information and tickets, please visit: