by Cara Joy David
American Idol alum Diana DeGarmo, who just departed Hairspray on May 21, is set to return to the Tony-winning tuner this fall. She will resume performances as Penny Pingleton on September 8, production spokesperson confirmed. “The show is so much fun,” DeGarmo told Broadway.com. “It will be great to be back.”
DeGarmo made her Broadway debut as Penny on February 7, after weeks of preparation. She recently left to begin rehearsals for the tour of Brooklyn, in which she will appear June 12 through August 13.
DeGarmo, the runner-up on American Idol two seasons ago, is best known for her rendition of “Don’t Cry Out Loud.” After her run in the series ended, she embarked on a tour with the other American Idol finalists. She has also been concentrating on her recording career—RCA Records released her first solo CD, Blue Skies, in December 2004.
Under the guidance of her mother, DeGarmo started pursuing an entertainment career at a very young age. As a child, she performed one summer at Music Mansion in the Dollywood Amusement Park in Tennessee. She was then invited back to perform in the park’s 1997 Christmas show. She also opened at the Georgia Music Hall of Fame Awards in 1997. A year later, she performed with Mike Snider and Steve Wariner on The Nashville Network’s Christmas special. She has opened for The Baja Men, Pam Tillis, Diamond Rio, Trace Adkins, Tracy Byrd, Billy Dean, Toby Keith, Ty Herndon, Delbert McClinton, Dolly Parton and the Opry singers. Her musical theater credits include mountings of Annie, Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta and West Side Story, which she headlined last summer at the American Musical Theatre of San Jose.
Hairspray currently stars Shannon Durig as Tracy Turnblad, John Pinette as Edna Turnblad, Stephen DeRosa as Wilbur Turnblad, Andrew Rannells as Link Larkin, Tevin Campbell as Seaweed J. Stubbs, Becky Gulsvig as Amber Von Tussle, Caissie Levy as Penny Pingleton, Darlene Love as Motormouth Maybelle and Leah Hocking as Velma Von Tussle.
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