Best Actor (2011)

D. Scott Withers in Hairspray: The Musical

D. Scott Withers did the unthinkable: He trumped Divine. In Phoenix Theatre's Hairspray: The Musical last December, he created an all-new take on the late cross-dressing actor who first played Edna Turnblad in John Waters' Hairspray, the movie on which this Tony winner is based. Withers' Edna was an entirely new creation, one that may not have eclipsed Harvey Fierstein's Edna on Broadway, but that was so delightful to watch, audiences hollered for more. The actor, trussed up in a giant housedress and what appeared to be a girdle full of galoshes, consumed a stage crammed with cool choreography and energetic performances with the conviction and good humor he brings to all his performances. In a popular musical satire about small-town wholesomeness under siege, his frumpy housewife was a stunning spectacle.


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