Jenifer Lewis to Join Hairspray as Motormouth Maybelle
by Broadway.com Staff
Â©2005 Bruce Glikas for Broadway.com
Stage and screen actress Jenifer Lewis will join the Broadway company of Hairspray on April 22 as Motormouth Maybelle. Lewis will replace Darlene Love, who has starred in the long-running musical at the Neil Simon Theatre since July 2005.
Lewis, who last appeared onstage in New York in the Public Theater’s 2006 Central Park production of Mother Courage and Her Children, can currently be seen in the feature film Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns. Her Broadway credits include Comin’ Uptown, Eubie! and Rock ‘n’ Roll: The First 5,000 Years. According to an online profile of Lewis, she played Effie White in the workshop of Dreamgirls, but when the show moved to Broadway, director Michael Bennett chose Jennifer Holliday for the role. Lewis went on to a position as a Harlette, a back-up singer for Bette Midler, and wrote and starred in the autobiographical one-woman show The Diva Is Dismissed in Los Angeles in 1993. TV fans will remember her as Will Smith’s Aunt Helen in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.