Chicago actor Brandon Stalling stars in 'Hairspray' at CIBC Theatre

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago actor Brandon Stalling is starring in "Hairspray" at the CIBC Theatre.

Stalling is a proud South Side native, and is now performing on the same stage where he saw his first musical as a little boy and fell in love with performing.

"Hairspray," based on the John Waters movie, is the story of integration in the 1960s told against the backdrop of a TV dance show. Stalling has been cast in his role three times.

"Seaweed is a literal ball of sunshine that can step into the room and say 'Hey everybody, let's dance, let's have some good vibes and good energy,'" he said. "I say the character has a lot of similarities to me, just being out there, expressive, ready to dance. I love going to the club and twirling, just spin around and feel the music."

Stalling joined choir at just 4 years old, and became a theater kid when his family moved to Aurora. They have enjoyed his performances here on the Chicago stage.

"My grandma, my grandfather came, which was such a beautiful experience," Stalling said. "They're in the audience, filling seats and making noise, and I love it."

"When I'm on stage, I'm always searching for the next adventure. What can we do to make some change, what can we do to make everyone feel included in this space," he added. "To be able to do this during Black History Month, and to be able to tell the story to people of color who have not seen it before, and not resonated with musical theater before. When we hit the stage it's like pow, boom, let's go, we're doing it."

ABC7 asked Stalling for any advice he'd offer to a young Chicago kid, like himself, who wants to follow their theater dreams.

"Know that people have got your back," he said. "Call me, even, I've got your back. I've got you! You know you're not alone."

"Hairspray" runs at the CIBC Theatre through Sunday.
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