Sharing the spotlight – Macero and Moskal are set to appear in ‘Hairspray’

John Macero has been an actor for 36 years, with roles in several productions on his resume, including the hometown Winthrop Playmakers.

He has helped countless young actors reach for the stars as an acting coach at the Winthrop School for Performing Arts, where he works with his wife, Trudy Macero.

One of his former students in dramatic arts is Stephanie Moskal, who is now a 20-year-old junior at Boston Conservatory.

Beginning Friday night, the coach [Macero] and former pupil [Moskal] will be performing on the same stage in Hairspray at the Reagle Music Theatre in Waltham. It is a full-fledged professional production featuring Marissa Perry in the lead role of Tracy Turnblad. She previously performed in the role on Broadway.

“It just happened that way,” said Macero. “Stephanie and I just happened to audition for the same production. She’s doing a great job in her role.”

Macero is starring in a major role as Wilbur Turnblad, which was the part played by Christopher Walken in the movie version of Hairspray. Moskal is appearing in a featured role as Amber Von Tussle.

More then 400 actors and actresses participated in auditions for Hairspray, meaning it was no small achievement for both Macero and Moskal to earn their roles in the production. The roles require acting, singing, and dancing skills.

“I’d say this role is one of the highlights of my career,” said Macero, who has been a performer for 36 years. “I’m excited about it. We have a full orchestra. It’s going to be a great show.”

Macero is a graduate of Boston University where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theater Performance. After working in theater, he went into the field education in 1992 and is currently the principal at the A.C. Whelan School in Revere. He served on the Winthrop School Committee for four years.

Moskal, daughter of Michel and Sonja Moskal, who are originally from Belgium, set her foundation in theater arts by taking acting, singing, and dancing lessons at the Winthrop School for Performing Arts.

“It all started at the Winthrop School for Performing Arts,” said Moskal. “I went there since I was 4 or 5 years old and continued until I graduated from Winthrop High School. My sister [Nathalie, a graduate of Boston University] also went to the Winthrop School for Performing Arts.”

Moskal participated in the drama club at Winthrop High where she was an honor roll student and a member of the National Honor Society. The attractive junior at Boston Conservatory is pursuing a degree in Musical Theater and hopes to be a professional actor following her graduation in 2012. She has appeared in productions at her college.

Moskal has also gained theatrical experience at the North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, the Stoneham Theatre, and the Reagle Theatre, where she appeared in “Singing in the Rain” and “Mame.”

Moskal is excited about reuniting with her former acting coach, John Macero.

“It’s pretty awesome getting the opportunity to perform in a play with one of your teachers, and one of your first teachers at that,” said Moskal. “Our characters really aren’t on stage together much, but still it’s been pretty cool just getting to work alongside a former teacher. It’s also great to work with the choreographers [Todd Michael Smith and Judine Somerville] who were original cast members of Hairspray on Broadway. They’re so passionate about the show and they have so much to share about the show itself.”

What does Stephanie Moskal enjoy most about acting?

“It’s so much fun to get to create a character that you normally wouldn’t be like, but you can just enter their world and become this other person,” said Moskal. “It’s so invigorating to get up there and perform and do what you love.”

Macero is expecting large crowds for Hairspray, which runs through Aug. 22.

“I hope Winthrop residents come out to see it,” said Macero. “I think they will thoroughly enjoy it.”

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