New Tracy Starting April 13: Keala Settle

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By Kenneth Jones
April 13, 2004

Carly Jibson, the Michigan-raised teen who played Tracy in the 2003 launch of Hairspray’s national tour is now prepping for her Broadway bow in the show, leaving room on the road for a new star turn. Keala Settle settles into the role of the portly and proud Baltimore high-schooler, Tracy Turnblad, April 13 when the national tour stop into Tempe, AZ.

When the show visits Los Angeles, however, Settle will pass her wigs to Tony Award-winner Marissa Jaret Winokur, July 20-Sept. 5.

Settle has stood by for the role of Tracy since the tour began. Originally from Laie, Hawaii, she’s been performing since the age of two all over Hawaii, Las Vegas and Utah. Previous credits include The Wiz, Godspell, Gypsy and South Pacific.

Bruce Vilanch continues as mama Edna Turnblad on the road. Jibson left the traveling troupe April 11 to take some time off and then rehearse with the Broadway company, which she joins May 4 (opposite Michael McKean as Edna).

First seen in the John Waters movie, “Hairspray,” Tracy Turnblad is the chubby and positive Baltimore teen who changes the face of local TV forever when she promotes integration on a dance show. She also falls in love with the coolest guy in school and gets her mother, Edna, a fantastic makeover.

The role of Tracy was created in the movie by Ricki Lake.

The smash musical continues on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theatre.