CHEERS! George Wendt Is Coming to The Charlottetown Festival

TV and Broadway Actor Wendt to reprise his role of Edna Turnblad in Hairspray

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CHARLOTTETOWN, Aug. 3 /CNW/ - "EDNA!!" Don't be surprised to hear that name called out around Charlottetown over the next few months, as television and Broadway actor George Wendt will be reprising his Broadway role of Edna Turnblad when Hairspray makes its debut at the Charlottetown Festival.

Best known as Norm Peterson on the award-winning television series Cheers, Wendt will be headlining the cast of the newest theatre production for The Charlottetown Festival. Hairspray will be playing in the Homburg Theatre at the Confederation Centre of the Arts from September 8th through to October 9th.

"I am so excited to be jumping back into Edna's shoes for the wonderful people of Prince Edward Island," says Wendt. "I'm looking forward to working with a great cast and crew, and bringing Baltimore to Charlottetown."

No stranger to the stage, Wendt slipped on Edna Turnblad's housecoat on Broadway in October 2007 through to the end of January 2008. Along with numerous other television, film and theatre roles, he has performed in the national US tour of 12 Angry Men in London's West End and on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning play Art.

"Mr. Wendt is an incredibly talented actor and comedian and the Charlottetown Festival is thrilled to have him bring Edna Turnblad to our stage," says Anne Allan, Artistic Director, The Charlottetown Festival. "Our productions are always world-class, and having someone of his calibre joining us reinforces this and will be sure to draw crowds from home and away."

Hairspray first opened on Broadway in July 2002, and had a successful six and a half year run until January 2009. Hairspray is now a global phenomenon with productions all around the world. A Canadian production opened at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto, Ontario in May 2004 and ran for more than two-hundred and fifty performances. Hairspray is the winner of eight Tony Awards and one Grammy Award.

"Through the Department of Tourism and Culture, the Province is pleased to be a funding partner for this year's production of Hairspray," says Minister of Tourism and Culture, Robert Vessey. "Signature events like Hairspray are cultural initiatives that generate economic benefit to the province as well as attract off-Island visitors, draw superb talent and entertainment and expose our fine art and culture to the world stage."

About George Wendt

George Wendt is best known to television audiences as Norm Peterson from Cheers. The role earned him six Emmy nominations. Wendt began his career with The Second City, Chicago's famous improvisational company. His feature film credits include Forever Young, Guilty by Suspicion, Fletch, Gung Ho, Rupert's Land, and Outside Providence.

Wendt has been seen on Broadway as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray. He starred in the national tour of 12 Angry Men and in London's West End and on Broadway in the Tony Award winning play Art. He appeared in the critically acclaimed stage production of David Mamet's Lakeboat, which was directed by Joe Mantegna, and frequently performs onstage in New York, Los Angeles and his native Chicago. In the summer of 1989, Wendt traveled to the USSR to portray the title role of Oblomov in a BBC adaptation of Ivan Goncharov's novel.

Wendt is married to Bernadette Birkett, who co-starred on the comedy series It's Garry Shandling's Show. They currently reside in Los Angeles with their four sons and one daughter.

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SOURCE THE CHARLOTTETOWN FESTIVAL

For further information: For further information: For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact: Penny Walsh, Director of Marketing & Guest Services, Confederation Centre of the Arts, Phone: (902) 628-6138, Mobile: (902) 393-2431, Email: pwalsh@confederationcentre.com

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