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JCC Hits New Heights With HAIRSPRAY

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. 

 

The JCC puts on five shows a year, plus offers a Broadway summer camp, acting classes, cabaret workshops and private coaching for aspiring thespians—from beginners to advanced, as well as for children with special needs. For more information about the JCC Theatre Arts programs, visit www.sjjcc.org/theatre/ or contact Susan Kalman at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 516-484-1545, ext. 110.

Cast Members & Roles

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