While I do keep up with what’s going on in the Broadway World despite my distance from 42nd Street, I try not to learn too much about new shows until I get a chance to see them on tour or on Broadway. Yes, I record shows when they appear on The Today Show and love the Tony Awards, but if I can, I like to walk into shows expecting nothing but what I’m given by that particular cast.
Let me tell you, I didn’t expect a lighting rod of a talent like Carly Jibson when I saw the tour of Hairspray. It was as if she was a never-ending wind-up toy, and she danced and sang around the stage like she was channeling the energy of Speedy Gonzales and the sweetness of Tweety Bird. The moment her eyes opened in bed and got to “Woke,” you couldn’t help but be madly in love with her Tracy Turnblad.
She was everything Tracy must be—cute beyond belief, perky, passionate, tough, spunky, and adorable. I vividly remember so much of her performance—her dancing with Penny (Alli Mauzy) to the opening of The Corny Collins Show, her cute walk, her gleeful spunk as she finally topped Amber Von Tussle—that you’d think I saw it yesterday. When I saw an excellent Tracy on Broadway and another charmer in the film version, I still couldn’t help but see Carly Jibson echoing in my mind. That’s not a negative reflection of these two other very talented women; it’s simply a comment on the young talent of Carly Jibson.
I can’t wait to see Carly Jibson on stage again. I believe she was only nineteen when I saw her in Hairspray. All that talent and only nineteen . . . I get excited thinking of all the great roles she could conquer as she gets more and more experience under her belt.
Getting to Know You Interview: http://www.broadway.com/gen/Buzz_Story.aspx?ci=40134
July 20, 2007