A Look at Hairspray at the Fulton Theater with Director Marc Robin
Articles and Interviews
Xanadu at Pittsburgh CLO
A Look at Company at Pittsburgh Public Theater with Director Ted Pappas
By Susan McDonald
By Bethany Hensel
By Hayley Martin, Examiner.com
By Sharon Eberson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazettte
As Billie Dawn in Born Yesterday
"The standout star is undoubtedly Lara Hayhurst. Hayhurst is brilliant in the role of Billie. Her physical comedic skills are matched only by her vocal affectations as the daffy blonde. Hayhurst creates a memorable speech pattern that lilts upward at the end of words and then punctuates with a screech that is thick with frustration when she feels ill-equipped and dumb."
-Susan McDonald, Providence Journal
"The first act completely belongs to Lara Hayhurst, making her OSTC debut as Billie Dawn. She is uncouth and uneducated, but she is also clever and knowing. The scene with Billie and Harry sitting down to play gin is worth the price of the ticket. Hayhurst's background in musical theater shows through as she off-handedly hums Anything Goes while trouncing Harry in cards. While Hayhurst is on stage, BORN YESTERDAY is a thing of beauty."
-Larry O'Brien, Broadway World
"Hayhurst is perfect as Billie. Her physical comedy is especially notable. Towards the end of act 1, there’s a lengthy card game with very little spoken dialogue. In the wrong hands, it would be interminable. But Hayhurst’s reactions and bits of business throughout make it incredibly entertaining."
-Kimberly Harper, NewsTalk WPRO
"Hayhurst’s performance stood out among a very able cast, and elicited a well-deserved standing ovation."
-Rob Borkowski, Warwick Post
As April in Company
"April the flight attendant, played with a delightful blend of sensuality and weirdness by Lara Hayhurst, looks straight out of a period piece in her skimpy red flight attendant's uniform…Hayhurst shines as the affably peculiar April, who is somehow equal parts sexy and genuinely strange. The role of April can easily become just another stereotypical dumb blonde, but Hayhurst gives her character an inner life and unique presence that round out the more predictable elements of the character"
-Greg Kerestan, Broadway World
"Pittsburgh native Lara Hayhurst, who starred in "Legally Blonde" for Pittsburgh Musical Theater, helps to humanize ditsy flight attendant April… April and Bobby's dueling stories involving an apartment cocoon and a lost hotel room constitute a gem of bizarre foreplay."
-Sharon Eberson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"Notable mentions among the women are Lara Hayhurst’s deliciously daft April."
-Chris Boni, Beaver Vally Times
As Clara in The Light in the Piazza
"Lara Hayhurst is a wonder as Clara. She possesses the physical and vocal beauty of the character, and captures the right child-like exuberance of the role. Moments in song, when she gushes forth notes with effortless sweet abandon, embody the nature that is Clara. Individually good musicians, [Dylan H.Thompson] and Hayhurst are even better when brought together. Stephen Sondheim has referred to Guettel's work as "dazzling," and that is exactly what this production is from the first note to the very last.”
“Piazza’s most obvious asset is a nearly flawless cadre of skilled singers who can act. From the opening number, breathless young beauty Hayhurst and Gabrielle Visser instantly reassure you that they can negotiate Guettel’s score. [Michael] Leeds has elicited pungent performances; just seeing the unapologetic, uncensored rapture suffusing Clara and Fabrizio’s faces is guaranteed to arouse the audience’s recollections of their own youth.”
-Bill Hirschman, South Florida Theater Review
“Winsome and lovely, Lara Hayhurst is appealing as the mercurial, vulnerable, naive and unaware Clara. The chemistry between [her and] Fabrizio (Dylan H. Thompson) is so palpable, and their relationship is so filled with joy, that the audience cannot help but emotionally root for their happiness.”
-Beverly Friend, Chicago Critic
As Elle Woods in Legally Blonde
As Elle in Legally Blonde
"Hayhurst is simply spectacular and was born to play this role. As soon as she is revealed in the opening number, you know you will be blown away. It is extremely hard for me to pick out the musical number of hers I like the best, but I have always loved the song “So Much Better” that ends Act I and she sure doesn’t disappoint with making this one a smash. Hayhurst is a star and I don’t imagine I would enjoy anyone else in this role as much as I enjoyed her."
-Lindsay Pascuzzi, Pittsburgh CW Network
"Starring Lara Hayhurst as Elle, “Legally Blonde: The Musical” is a must-see show for all ages. Hayhurst should be commended for pulling off such a mammoth role which has her on stage nearly the entire show. Her voice and character portrayal were spot on for the entire performance and every musical number was delivered with professionalism and perfection. She truly commands the stage and was born to play this role."
-Hayley Martin, Pittsburgh Events Examiner
"Hayhurst is the perfect Elle. She’s initially perky, bouncy, has a great speaking and singing voice and dances with the best of them. Yet she’s equally strong portraying Elle as the character matures and finds the courage to be true to herself no matter what others think."
-Bonnijean Cooney Adams, Pittsburgh Daily News
"Lara Hayhurst shines as Inga, who immediatley recommends Dr. Frankenstein and she take a literal and figurative "roll in the hay," allowing Ms. Hayhurst to show off some impressive yodeling skills."
-Laura Byko, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"Lara Hayhurst plays Inga, Frederick's blonde bombshell assistant. Ms. Hayhurst has a knack for perky, sexual comedy, and has a poweful set of pipes she gets to show off in her innuendo filled number "Roll in the Hay."
-The Pittsburgh Stage Online
As Inga in Young Frankenstein
As Maria in The Sound of Music
"Lara Hayhurst hits it out of the ballpark with her bright-eyed, wonderfully enthusiastic and passionate Maria. Her character interpretation leans more toward the innocent, comedic side, and it makes for great pacing. She shows incredible versatility with her character arc, starting out naive and a bit overwhelmed, going through the confusing highs and lows about her feelings for Captain von Trapp, and then finally stepping into her own as a woman who knows what she stands for and who she loves. Lara's voice has beautiful color to it. One minute she can belt like the best of them, and the next she's showing off a nightingale soprano that just thrilled me. And I'll say this much: the girl can yodel."
-Bethany Hensel, Pittsburgh Arts Blog
"Lara Hayhurst plays a perfectly quirky and fun Maria. Her beautiful voice will be singing in my head for a long time!"
-Crissy Cicchino, Pittsburgh Macaroni Kid
As Amber in Hairspray
"Lara Hayhurst is fantastic as the talentless brat with an infectious laugh that harbors an ocean of devious intent.”
-Lewis E. Silverman, The Patriot News, Lancaster
“Amber Von Tussle is performed with evil fun by Lara Hayhurst (her laugh is like nails on a chalkboard). Matching Amber in the rhymes-with-witch category is her mother, Velma, played with Bette Midler gusto by Denise Whelan.”
-Stephen Kopfinger, Lancaster Online
“Lara Hayhurst plays Amber with relish; a spoiled girl with an over-developed sense of entitlement. She tries to hide her mean streak with a sunny smile, but it doesn’t quite work. Amy Marie McCleary plays her mother, Velma, and it’s great fun to watch these two villains you love to hate.”
-Nancy Stetson, Florida Weekly
“WASP princess Amber Von Tussle is played to the nastiest hilt by blonde bombshell Lara Hayhurst, who seethes with proper aplomb”
-Marsha Wagner, the Sanibel-Captiva Islander
“Lara Hayhurst is hysterical as Amber, the perfect blonde with the perfect smile”
-Di Saggau, The Island Sun News
As Maria in The Sound of Music
As Sandy in Grease
"Sandy was played by Ms. Lara Hayhurst, who portrayed the classic 'girl next door' with such freshness and a beautiful voice. Her solo number "Hopelessly Devoted to You" would make you sing "Oh, Sandy" in a heartbeat, and her strong spirit and spicy transformation in Act II is easily the momentum that drives the show upward.
-Drake Ma, Pittsburgh in the Round
"Ricky Gee and Lara Hayhurst use their exceptionally strong voices to bring the roles of Danny and Sandy to singin' life."
-Ted Hoover, Pittsburgh City Paper
"Lara Hayhurst stars as Sandy, and what is so great about her portrayal is that she has so much heart. Ms. Hayhurst's Sandy is a Sandy we can root for. She is strong and pretty and, ok, ok, maybe she is a little bit drippy, but there is so much more to her than the Sandy we see time and time again. Not only does Lara have an incredible voice, but Sandy's character comes out with every note in the most endearing way."
-Krista Graham, Local Arts Pittsburgh
As Dainty June in Gypsy
“Lara Hayhurst is clearly talented. Hayhurst and [Kim] Carson really get to shine as they commiserate over their mother in "If Momma Was Married." It makes you wish the show gave June another real number.”
-Jane Holahan, Lancaster New Era
“[Kim] Carson and Lara Hayhurst have a lovely moment together as Louise and June reveal their differing dreams for the future, singing "If Momma Was Married." But onstage Louise wilts in the shade of the thousand-watt smile, blonde curls and frilly dresses of Hayhurst's baton-twirling, high-kicking headliner June.”
-Mary Ellen Wright, The Lancaster Intellegencer
As Peggy in The Andrews Brothers
“Lara Hayhurst is an adorable, petite, and curvy blonde who sings with verve and does everything she can to carry this show on her slender shoulders. We never learn whether this “big break” does anything for Peggy’s singing career, although my money is squarely on her.”
-Gail M. Burns
“Lara Hayhurst hands in a rock solid performance as Peggy. A pint-sized pepperpot with a perpetual smile, a ton of talent and a can-do attitude, she delivers at every turn. Her enormous presence and her unbridled energy are a big part of this show’s success.”
-Central New York Theater News
“She's effervescent. She's talented. And she's easy on the eyes. She is Lara Hayhurst, an ambitious young singer-dancer-actress boosting troop morale in The Andrews Brothers”
-Joan Vadeboncoeur, The Syracuse Post Standard
As Kim on the National Tour of Bye Bye Birdie
“Ingénue lead Kim MacAfee is delightfully played by Lara Hayhurst.”
-Anne Chlovechok, The Daily Jeffersonian
“Kim MacAfee [is] superlatively played with apple-cheeked innocence by Lara Hayhurst.”
-Ken Gousseau, The Medicine Hat News
“Lara Hayhurst, the lucky girl who gets "one last kiss" from Birdie was in complete control of her powerful voice.”
-Lorna London Sloukji, BellaOnline, Mississauga, Ontario
As Janet Van De Graaf in The Drowsy Chaperone
“Hayhurst is adorable. Her show-stopper "Show Off" fulfills its promise in her hands.”
-J. Peter Bergman, Berkshire Bright Focus
“Lara Hayhurst is perfection as the gorgeous show girl – star of the Feldzeig Follies. Her feature number Show Off is a demanding one physically and technically, and she pulls it off without a hitch.”
-Gail M. Burns
“This is a knockout production. The cast is fabulous, the choreography is stunning, and there are a number of terrific production numbers, especially "Show Off," in which Janet (a wonderful Lara Hayhurst) declares she's tired of all the attention she gets, while seeking even more during the number. Director Brian Enzman has hit a grand slam.”
-Jane Holahan, Lancaster Online News.
As Sugar in Sugar: The Some Like it Hot Musical
“Lara Hayhurst brings a sweet innocence to the Marilyn Monroe role, that of blonde ingenue Sugar. Girlish without being saccharine, she manages to display the character's vulnerability. Her va-va-voom kissing scene with Dale is both sweet and sexy.”
-Chris Silk, The Naples News
As Christine Colgate in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
“Lara Hayhurst brings a nattering, natural charm to her bouncy blonde "American Soap Queen" Christine Colgate. She's bright, brassy - and perfectly scandalous. Her "Here I Am" number features some soaring vocals.”
-Chris Silk, Naples News
“Another find is Lara Hayhurst. Lara is making her Island debut as Christine Colgate, the American soap heiress. This razzle dazzler is a vivacious, talented, blond bombshell with looks and a body to match, a killer smile, full out vocal power, super dance moves that burn the floor, along with perfectly timed comedy..”
-Marsha Wagner, Sanibel-Captiva Islander
As Woman 1 in I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change
“Hayhurst is clearly the star here, with the versatility to act and sing in many voices. She is a beautiful blonde, but is not above slapping on a silly costume and wig and transforming herself into a gawky girl or middle-aged Minnesotan housewife. But I liked her just fine when, without benefit of wig or housecoat, she played an overly cheerful mother taking the news of the break-up of her son’s relationship hilariously hard; and when she delivered the poignant monologue The Very First Dating Video of Rose Ritz.”
-Gail M. Burns
“Lara Hayhurst, all blonde and perky on the outside, delivers some wallop punches in her second act monologue dictating a video dating confession and also in the elation of a call from a former date when he said he would call.”
-Peter Bergman, berkshirebrightfocus.com
"Lara Hayhurst has a beautiful singing voice and is touchingly sad in her monologue about a recently divorced woman who at 40 years of age goes to a dating service to find love."
-Bob Goephart, The Troy Record
As Sharpay in High School Musical
“In the villainous role of Sharpay Evans, Lara Hayhurst shines. Hayhurst never falters in making her intentions clear; she goes for the comedic jugular as she plays to the extremes of her character (annoying, spiteful, conniving, motivated, spoiled). Hayhurst keeps the show moving, and can feel confident that she has achieved her goals.”
-Katelyn Coyne, funcityfinder.com
“Hayhurst and (J Tyler) Whitmer take full advantage of scene-stealing roles, working simultaneously as villains and comic relief.”
-John Belden, East of Indy
“The cast brings a freshness and energy to the show that's infectious, and over-the-top drama queen Hayhurst provides comic relief.”
-Melissa Hall, StageWrite
“Lara Hayhurst, who plays the villainous Sharpay, gives a strong performance. For those of you who remember the television sitcom The Facts of Life, you’ll find yourself thinking of the character Blair Warner. Lara is a dead ringer.”
-Shari Scales Finnell, Indianapolis Woman
As Leisl Von Trapp in The Sound of Music
“I especially admired Lara Hayhurst, who plays the oldest daughter, Liesl…Good singer, good dancer, and a good actress. She is just darling! [I] laughed in delight at Liesl’s “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” duet with … Rolf Gruber (J. Tyler Whitmer).”
-Hope Baugh, IndyTheatreHabit.com
As Violet in Violet
“The performances are sincere, touching, and genuine. Lara Hayhurst is lovable as the feisty but damaged Violet. Hayhurst’s performance is the reason to love Violet- the show and the person.”
-Bob Goepfert, The Troy Record
“[Hayhurst’s] pronunciation is so precise, her acting so believable, and her musicality so faultless, that even when her voice seems small, you can still understand her perfectly. Violet’s songs grow out of the dramatic moment, thanks to Hayhurst’s artistry.”
-Paul Lamar, The Schenectady Daily Gazette
“[Hayhurst], who uses no stage makeup to suggest a scar, seems far too pretty to be convincingly scarred. By the time the first act is over, however, the audience gets it. She’s playing someone who is emotionally as well as physically scarred...Hayhurst is both vulnerable and single-minded in the title role, and she has a fine singing voice.”
-Bruce G. Hallenbeck, The Independent
As Hope Cladwell in Urinetown
“Hayhurst is just plain dazzling as the hopelessly hopeful Hope.”
-Gail M. Burns, The Chatham Courier
“Hope is deliciously played by Lara Hayhurst, making her first appearance at Theater Barn. She is a Judy Holliday/Carol Lombard-type comedienne with platinum hair and a sweet, light, singing voice, but her performance is nonetheless large, wild and wonderful.”
-Charles Kondak, The Independent
“Hope Cladwell is played by the lovely Lara Hayhurst in a performance tender and comic. She manages to make her love-song moments as real as her fear when she is about to be "snuffed" by her captors. She and [Eric] Richardson are very moving together in their almost-love duet.
-J.Peter Bergman, berkshrebrightfocus.com