Alum Cortazzo is excited to return to Pittsburgh, performing Hairspray


Photo courtesy Nick Cortazzo

Just one year after graduating college, Baldwin alum Nick Cortazzo is performing in a Broadway touring production of `Hairspray.’

Sam Tobiczyk, News Editor

Baldwin alumni Nick Cortazzo is excited to perform Hairspray in Pittsburgh for his family and hometown friends when the touring Broadway production reaches the city.

“I don’t think I have the words to describe how excited I am about coming back home,” he said.

Cortazzo landed his role touring with the Broadway production of Hairspray back in March, and since then, he has been on the road. For a week in early January, he will be in Pittsburgh, performing at the Benedum Center as the character Link Larkin.

“I grew up going to see shows at the Benedum and seeing the national tours,” he said. “And now, just a year and a half after graduating college, I get to come home and be on one of those tours.”

Cortazzo was actually enticed to re-sign onto the current leg of the tour because he knew the tour was coming to Pittsburgh.

“I knew Pittsburgh was on the horizon, and honestly that was a huge reason I came back to the show,” he said.

Even with the Pittsburgh shows more than a month away, Cortazzo uses them as motivation to continue doing the show night in and night out.

“When it gets tough doing the show, I just think about the fact that I am going home to Pittsburgh in just a couple weeks to do the show, and that reignites the fire,” he said.

Cortazzo emphasized that on the tour, hometown visits of cast members are very special, with the entire tour cast looking forward to them.

“The energy is always so electric in the theater,” he said.

Another aspect of returning to Pittsburgh that Cortazzo is excited about is returning home to see his family, without the lights from the stage.

“I will definitely get to visit with my family, and I haven’t seen them in a few months, so I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.

Cortazzo also highlighted the strong theater scene in Pittsburgh.

“Pittsburgh holds value in its theater and the shows that they see. Sometimes I don’t feel that in other cities,” he said.

As a bonus, on Jan. 6, up to 50 people from the Baldwin-Whitehall community will be in attendance.

Even with his excitement, Cortazzo is nervous to perform in front of so many people he knows.

“Part of my nerves that will come with the Pittsburgh shows is, I feel like I’m doing a lot of it for my family, but also my teachers and my mentors,” he said. “I think there is an added pressure to show the skills that I learned.”

Tickets for the Jan. 6 performance are being sold until Nov. 23, and all checks should be made payable to Baldwin Whitehall Music Patrons. Tickets are $33 dollars each, and order forms can be obtained from middle school music teacher Kathy Hawk.