Inside HAIRSPRAY with Deidre Lang as Motormouth Maybelle

Inside HAIRSPRAY with Deidre Lang as Motormouth Maybelle on Where Rockies

Jeremy Daniel

Culture on Where Calgary Online Play on Where Calgary Online

We recently had the chance to sit down with Deidre Lang, known for her role as Motormouth Maybelle in HAIRSPRAY. Originally from New Jersey and now based in Las Vegas, Lang has built an impressive career in both Broadway and television. She's graced the stage in major productions such as Ragtime, The Lion King, and Tommy. In our conversation, she gives us an exclusive on what it’s like to play Motormouth Maybelle, her favourite parts of the production, and what it’s like to be on tour!

Playing Motormouth Maybelle must be a blast! What's the most fun part about stepping into her shoes every night?
Yes! Motormouth is a fun part to play! I started my career as a dancer, and in my first number of the show, I get to live out my singing and dancing dreams!

HAIRSPRAY is known for its catchy tunes and vibrant dance numbers. Do you have a favourite song or dance routine in the show, and what makes it stand out to you?
I love “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” the last number of the show. The whole cast comes together for this one big number, and the energy on the stage at that moment is magnetic and exhilarating! Everyone in the audience will be up on their feet!

 HAIRSPRAY audiences are known for their enthusiasm. Have you had any particularly memorable interactions with fans or moments during a show that made you smile?
The show is so great that the audience is with you, even if things don’t go as planned. One night I made my big entrance, and I got all caught up in the beaded curtain and couldn't get through, but I played around with it and made a bit out of it, and the audience busted out laughing! I think they thought it was part of the show, but it was a big sigh of relief for me. I fell in love with that audience that night!!

The costumes and sets in HAIRSPRAY are iconic. Do you have a favorite costume piece or set design that you feel really brings the ’60s to life on stage?
My favourite costumes have to be the red dresses that the Dynamites wear in the “Welcome to the ’60s” number. They take you back to the days of groups like The Supremes or The Shirelles, and those dresses hold a big place in my heart because I was in the national touring company of this same show and made my debut as a Dynamite in 2003! My career has definitely come full circle!

Is there a song or scene in HAIRSPRAY that personally resonates with you or that you look forward to performing each night?
The song I sing in the second act, “I Know Where I’ve Been,” really touches my heart every night that I sing it. I can relate to the words, and sometimes I get rather emotional singing it. I know the audience feels it as well, and it’s great to know that I am moving people to tears.

Do you have any pre-show rituals or routines that help you get into character as Motormouth Maybelle?
I have my routine every night to make sure I am ready for the show. I have a physical and vocal warm-up half an hour before the show. I love listening to positive affirmations and praying before every show. Then, I am ready to embody Ms. Motormouth!!

Being on tour with HAIRSPRAY must be an adventure. What's one of the most exciting places you've visited so far, and why?
I have actually enjoyed most of the cities we have been to so far. But I am most looking forward to our Canadian leg of the tour! And I have never been to Calgary, so I am really excited to see it!

Wrapping up our chat, Deidre Lang's passion for her role in HAIRSPRAY is infectious. From laugh-out-loud moments on stage to heartfelt performances, she truly brings Motormouth Maybelle to life. With an eye on the tour ahead, especially her excitement for Canada, Lang's journey is far from over. Here's to more show-stopping performances and unforgettable theatre magic.

Naureen Othi