Ballard & Hammond to Join B’way’s Hairspray
Cara Joy David, Broadway.com
Hairspray tour star Jordan Ballard is set to play Amber in the Broadway production of the musical. She will begin performances in New York on October 5, the same day as her tour co-stars Bruce Vilanch and Todd Susman. Another member from the road show, Blake Hammond, who plays various roles in the tuner, is also coming to the Great White Way on that date.
“I am definitely excited,” Ballard told Broadway.com. “It’s good to make my Broadway debut doing a show I am so comfortable with. Amber is a character that everyone loves to hate. The way I play the role is so aloof–she is really not aware that she is the villain. She’s a product of her mother and she is not quite smart enough to realize what’s going on. She’s just fun.”
Ballard has been appearing as Amber since the Hairspray tour began in Baltimore in September 2003. She previously played Maureen in the national tour of Rent and Ariel in the Footloose tour. She also understudied the role of Susan in tick, tick… BOOM on tour. Ballard is perhaps best known to New York-area audiences as Marty in the Paper Mill Playhouse 2003 mounting of Grease.
Hammond has also been with the Hairspray tour since the beginning. He plays Male Authority Figure (which consists of Harriman F. Spritzer, Principal, Mr. Pinky and a guard in the musical) and also covers Vilanch as the Edna Turnblad standby. He previously appeared on the Great White Way in On the Town, Kiss Me, Kate and The Music Man. His off-Broadway credits include On the Town, The Emperor and the Encores! stagings of Do Re Mi and Carnival.
Broadway’s current Amber and Male Authority Figure, Tracy Jai Edwards and recent cast addition Jim J. Bullock (respectively), are set to depart the tuner on October 3.
After the show’s Los Angeles engagement ends on September 5, Worth Williams and Kenny Morris will be taking over those roles on the tour.