Ex-Harlette Linda Hart on performing in “Hairspray”

Excerpt from the New York Times, 11-29-02

Playing Velma Von Tussle, the villainous television producer who is pulled backward upstage at the end of her big number, “(The Legend of) Miss Baltimore Crab,” has given Linda Hart the wounds to show for it. “I have been in so much pain physically,” she said. “It started with a pulled muscle in my leg. I threw my back out. I wore a brace for three weeks and took it off for the first time on opening night. Thank God the emotional joy pays off, because the physical part is very hard.”

The emotional joy does pay off. Ms. Hart likened it to playing the Palladium in London as a backup singer or Harlette with Bette Midler. “The screaming was so loud we couldn’t hear what she was saying,” Ms. Hart said. “We couldn’t hear anything but the roar. There were no aisles; people were in them.”

It is much the same with “Hairspray.” “At the end of the show,” Ms. Hart said, “you don’t see the aisles.”

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