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Monkee joins Hairspray

Published 26 November 2009

Former Monkee Micky Dolenz is to play joke shop owner Wilbur Turnbald in Hairspray at the Shaftesbury theatre from 2 February. The American actor and musician will partner Brian Conley, who returns to the cross-dressing role of Wilbur’s wife Edna in the hit musical.

Dolenz became famous as part of the The Monkees, a pop band assembled in the 1960s for the US television show of the same name. With his bandmates Dolenz had several enduring hits, including I’m A Believer, Last Train To Clarksville and Daydream Believer.

Since then, Dolenz has worked in television and theatre as an actor, producer, director and writer, including directing the UK children’s television show Metal Mickey. His stage appearances include Aida on Broadway and US productions of Grease and A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum.

Dolenz plays the on-stage husband of British actor and entertainer Brian Conley, who returns to the role of Edna after first stepping into her over-sized dresses earlier this year. They replace current Edna and Wilbur Phill Jupitus and Tony Timberlake.

The loveable couple are the parents of Hairspray’s heroine Tracy Turnblad (Chloe Hart), a big-hearted, big-haired, dance-obsessed teenager who sets her heart on joining television dance show the Corny Collins Show. But this is 1960s Baltimore and things have to change before Tracy and her friends are accepted into the all-white, all-skinny world of television. So the irrepressible Tracy sets out to bring integration to Baltimore, upstage the programme’s current princess and win the heart of Link Larkin, all without denting her do.

Based on John Waters’s 1988 film, Hairspray opened in the West End in October 2007 following a successful run on Broadway. It went on to win several Laurence Olivier Awards the following year, including Best New Musical.

CB

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