Hairspray lead Amanda Richards checks her costume wardrobe
at the Regent Theatre. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
The lead of Musical Theatre Dunedin's latest production,
, has trod the boards from New Orleans to New
Amanda Richards originally came to Dunedin in July 2009, as a
Rotary International ambassadorial scholar. Within a week of
arriving, she met fellow University of Otago student and her
future husband, Byron Richards.
The couple married in New Orleans, and returned to Dunedin in
January, just in time for the Hairspray auditions.
''I really wanted to be part of Hairspray. I've been
singing, dancing and doing musicals my entire life and it's a
show with a lot of dancing in it, so I know it pretty well,''
Mrs Richards said.
The 25-year-old has majored in musical theatre at the New
Orleans Center for Creative Arts and has also competed in the
North American Irish Dance Championships.
Hairspray, which opens at the Regent on Friday, marks
her first lead role and and her southern hemisphere debut.
''I can't wait. The message of the show is all about
inclusiveness. It's about a fat girl in Baltimore in the
1960s who's a really good dancer and wants to be on a
television show, but all the positions are taken by spoiled,
skinny, white kids.''