Theater

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Iconic musical ‘Hairspray’ still holds

Hairspray comes to town

Gay performers Alan Kilpatrick and Glenn Rainey aren’t technically joined at the hip, but they’ve acted a lot like it lately. Their collaboration in the musical “Hairspray” (opening at The Strand Theatre this week courtesy of Atlanta Lyric Theatre) is their third in the past nine months.

In “Hairspray,” they play husband and wife. Kilpatrick plays Wilbur Turnblad and Rainey plays the immortal Edna Turnblad. Rainey joins a list of heavyweights who have played that role onstage including Tony winner Harvey Fierstein, Bruce Vilanch and “Cheers” star George Wendt.

Rainey actually auditioned to understudy for Edna when he was living in New York. Although he has played women before, this is unique.

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Gay director at Stage Door Players tackles commitment issues in ‘Company’

Stage Door Players

Robert Egizio remembers hearing Elaine Strich’s version of “The Ladies Who Lunch” from the musical “Company” and buying the cast album almost immediately after. Since that time he has longed to be involved in a production of the musical, and next week he gets the chance at his Stage Door Players.

Egizio, the openly gay artistic director of the company, is directing the production. His version of “Company” hits almost 40 years after the original bowed on Broadway.

In the musical, openly gay Dustin Lewis stars as Robert, the main character who is celebrating his 35th birthday. Over the course of the show, we meet his married friends — all of whom are urging him to settle down and get married — as well as his three girlfriends. Robert has rejected the notion of making a commitment to any of them.

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Shay Youngblood’s ‘Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery’ comes home

‘Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery’ cast

Although no longer an Atlantan, lesbian playwright and author Shay Youngblood considers the city her second home and is excited to return here for Horizon Theatre’s remount of her signature play “Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery.”

Youngblood was born in Columbus, Ga., and graduated from Clark-Atlanta University. She held various jobs around town, but Charis Books & More proved to be a stepping stone.

Youngblood worked at the now 35-year-old feminist bookstore for a year, beginning when she was only 19, and was persuaded to hold her first public reading there. That event gave her confidence and the drive to move on.