Hairspray gives Langley thespian superhero powers

Elyse Maloway is feeling much like a superhero this week, following the opening of Hairspray – The Broadway Musical at the Stanley Park’s Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) season.

“The messages of acceptance and the power we all have to make change are infectious, and you can’t help feeling like a superhero. A singing, dancing superhero,” said the 22-year-old Langley Secondary grad who reluctantly gave up participating in Langley’s own Bard in the Valley (BiV) this year to take her turn on the TUTS stage.

She’s playing Amber in Hairspray, a production that takes audiences back to 1962 Baltimore, where loveable, larger-than-life heroine Tracy Turnblad has one plucky dream: to dance on the local TV program, The Corny Collins Show.

Maloway attended the general tryouts back in early spring with the hope of securing the role of Amber.

“I did audition with the role in mind, partially because it’s so much fun to be the bad guy, but also because she’s not supposed to be a good dancer, and as an ‘enthusiastic mover’ myself, I felt I could pull that off,” Maloway shared with the Langley Advance.

Asked about the similarities between herself and her character, Maloway hoped they are few and far between.

“I think Amber and I are both Type A personalities,” she admitted. But added with a chuckle that “Amber just takes being in control too far.”

This role, she insisted, has pushed her as an artist.

“Having such intensive dancing in the show has challenged me to up my game at every moment. I’ve learned so much through the rehearsals,” she said, noting rehearsals have run four days a week since mid-May in preparation for this week’s launch.

This is Maloway’s first TUTS production, but the Langley City girl is no stranger to the stage.

In fact, she’s been acting since Grade 5 and it’s odd for her not to be on stage with Bard in the Valley, where she’s been for the past four years – first as Celia in As You Like It, then Olivia in Twelfth Night, Luciana in The Comedy of Errors, and Caius Cassius in Julius Caesar.

“It was very strange and bittersweet to not return to Douglas Park for BiV’s production of Love’s Labours Lost this summer. But I am very excited to see the show on an off-night from Hairspray,” said the recent musical theatre graduate from Capilano University.

The aspiring script writer was first introduced to Hairspray on the big screen.

“I remember seeing it in the theatre and thinking ‘Wow, this energy is electric!’ A few years later, after re-watching the movie and singing the songs countless times, I saw the touring Broadway production and was blown away all over again by how stirring the performance was,” Maloway said.

“It’s one on those shows where it’s impossible not to feel amazing afterwards,” she added.

While Maloway aspires to be a full-time actor, she currently works in the kitchen at Bridges Restaurant on Granville Island to pay the bills.

“Sadly it’s extremely difficult to support oneself on theatre in Vancouver,” she said. 

But she has recently signed with an agent, hoping to land more auditions for film and TV roles. And this fall she’s will be part of fellow Langleyite Ellie King’s production of Dracula, taking on the role of the swooning Lucy Seward, “which is a paid gig, so yay!”

“Hairspray is the perfect show for these beautiful summer nights. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll dance in your seat, it’s a wild ride you won’t want to miss!” she said, inviting people to attend the outdoor theatre production.

Hairspray opened Tuesday, July 14 at Malkin Bowl in Vancouver’s Stanley Park. The show is paired with Oliver and runs until Aug. 22.

Hairspray

Just Posted

Three arrested in Aldergrove stabbing

Downtown areas cordoned off with yellow crime scene tape, under police watch

Langley uke man marvels amid Royal wedding merriment

Peter and Sandy Luongo were in London Saturday for the nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Langley Thunder take first win of the season

The local lacrosse team has kicked off its home opener with a solid victory.

UPDATE: Cloverdale’s Bill Reid Memorial Shelter to celebrate grand opening this Friday

After nearly a decade, the purpose-built shelter will officially open its doors

VIDEO: Langley man critical of SOGI

A local letter writer says SOGI infringes on parents’ rights.

VIDEO: AOK took Langley home and ‘made it amazing’

Volunteers did two weeks of repairs and retrofitting to make the Adam family house safe and livable.

Drivers could pay $8 per day to help cut gridlock under new plan

Mobility pricing report outlines two existing models to cut Metro Vancouver congestion by 20-25%

B.C. pipeline goes ahead despite scrapped Pacific Northwest LNG

NEB approves amendment for $1.4-billion natural gas North Montney Mainline Project

Update: Wildfire northwest of Kamloops jumps from 60 to 800 hectares

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 50 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Feds limit chinook fishery to help killer whale recovery

Chinook is main food source for only 76 southern residents killer whales left

B.C. mom who died just before daughter’s wedding wanted family to be happy: twin

Ann Wittenberg was pulled into the ocean while on a surf board in Tofino last weekend

Courtenay-Alberni MP calls for lifeguards at popular surf spot near Tofino

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is defending its decision to cancel the surf guard program.

Harvey Weinstein to surrender in sex misconduct probe: officials

Would be first criminal charge against Weinstein since scores of women came forward

Fuel truck crash closes B.C. highway, sends two to hospital

The Trans-Canada Highway on Vancouver Island is expected to be closed until Thursday evening

Most Read