Written by Sheri ArbitalJacoby Saturday, 24 August 2013 00:00
Audiences were all smiles and applause as the incredibly talented cast members from the Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center’s Summer Stock presented Hairspray on July 31 and Aug. 1.
The East Hills stage was illuminated as 5- through 18-year-olds sang and danced to upbeat tunes from the Broadway hit musical.
The production was truly an ensemble effort. The JCC’s Theatre Arts Director Susan Kalman made sure even the youngest performers had a few minutes in the spotlight.
Audiences melted each time lilliputian Luna Romero, who just celebrated her fifth birthday, took the stage. Her adorable older sister Margit Tess Romero, who played Gretl von Trapp in last summer’s production of The Sound of Music, also had theatergoers mesmerized.
The oldest cast member was recent Wheatley grad Andrew McCluskey, who played heartthrob Link Larkin. The unflappable Tracy Turnblad was brought to life by the clear, warm-voiced, and (to her mom) surprisingly mature 13-year-old Hallie ArbitalJacoby, who will be entering Wheatley in the fall. Also from Wheatley were Tracy’s mom-turned-agent Edna Turnblad, portrayed by Juliana Luber; nemesis Amber von Tussle, played by Alana Osroff; and stage mom Aly Brier, who as Velma von Tussle sang a powerful “Miss Baltimore Crabs.”
The cast included six sets of siblings. Roslyn twins Ben and Jacqueline Steinberg, portrayed Seaweed and Motormouth Maybelle, respectively. Wheatley incoming 12th-grader
Thomas Stroud, who played Corny Collins, concluded Thursday’s performance with a heartfelt farewell speech for his eleventh and final show at the JCC. Sister Jaclyn Stroud was particularly amusing in her portrayal of Penny Lou Pingleton.
Roslynite Ariana Barlas played a soulful Little Willow and sister Alessandra Barlas portrayed Council Member Doreen.
Since the end of June, cast members have spent two hours each Monday through Thursday evening preparing for the performances. “It’s amazing what these talented kids accomplished in just five-and-a-half weeks,” marveled director Kalman, along with co-director and choreographer Theresa Diaz-DiLallo and music director Kerry Prep.
“Our theatre programs are the place for kids to develop their talent and gain confidence while having the time of their life as they bond with peers who share their passion,” said Kalman.
Samantha Adler of Roslyn played Council Member Shelley
Dana Agulnick of Roslyn played Lily
Colette Alfonso of Bellerose Village played Gym Teacher
Hallie ArbitalJacoby of Albertson played Tracy Turnblad
Lola Barbalat of Port Washington played Julie von Tussle
Alessandra Barlas of Roslyn played Council Member Doreen
Ariana Barlas of Roslyn played Little Willow
Aly Brier of Westbury played Velma von Tussle
Nate Connolly of Glenwood Landing played Mr. Pinky
Sabrina DePaulis of New Hyde Park played Hope
Isabella DiSanti of Roslyn Heights played Council Member Donna
Samantha Edelman of Roslyn played Council Member Debbie
Sydney Elkins of Port Washington played Sunshine
Sarah Faber of Roslyn played Council Member Tammy
Samantha Friedler of Port Washington played Summer
Ashley Huber of Manhasset played Council Member Brenda
Joey Huber of Manhasset played Sky
Erika Kitsantas of Port Washington played Prudy Pingleton
Chris Lauria of Floral Park played Harriman Spritzer
Meagan Lipsman of Manhasset played Meadow
Juliana Luber of Mineola played Edna Turnblad
Andrew McCluskey of East Williston played Link Larkin
Amanda Meyerson of East Hills played Alice
Alana Osroff of Mineola played Amber von Tussle
Alyson O’Sullivan of Manhasset played Autumn
Katie O’Sullivan of Manhasset played Joy
Danielle Richter of Roslyn played Council Member Noreen
Luna Romero of Port Washington played Star
Margit Tess Romero of Port Washington played Cindy Turnblad
Shruthi Shekar of Westbury played Rosie
Ben Steinberg of Roslyn played Seaweed
Jacqueline Steinberg of Roslyn played Motormouth Maybelle
Jaclyn Stroud of East Williston played Penny Lou Pingleton
Thomas Stroud of East Williston played Corny Collins
Megan Terzo of Manhasset played Council Member Lou Ann