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“Zeller is a hoot, physically busting out all over yet letting all his genuine warmth seize control as the supportive mother. In his first long dark wig, he reminds one of Kaye Ballard with all of her loud and sarcastically funny remarks. His is a big, somewhat performance that suits his aura, the piece and our enjoyment!”
Don Grigware, Grigware Reviews

“Glendale Centre Theatre has made the inspired decision of bringing back the one-and-only Sam Zeller to play Edna. And talk about versatility! Can you imagine seeing Fierstein—or any other Edna—as Les Miz’s Jean Valjean or Oklahoma!’s Jud Fry, roles which won Zeller two of his three Best Actor Scenies, the third being for guess who? Not only does Zeller make Edna fabulously his own creation (and a loving tribute to his Italian-American mom), he has added new layers to his already sensational performance since playing “big, blond(ish), and beautiful” Edna several years back. I wrote then that “looking like the lovechild of Lucille Ball and Jane Russell on steroids, Zeller’s stellar turn recalls Lucy’s comedic genius and Russell’s glamazon looks.” Ditto 2013, and then some. the duo do their scene-stealing Act Two song-and-dance to “(You’re) Timeless to Me,” I defy anyone in the audience not to declare these two MFEO.” ~ Steven Stanley, StageSceneLA

“Edna Turnblad is fabulously portrayed by Sam Zeller. Sam does the looks, the smiles and motherly concerns with such honesty that you’ll understand why Tracy has such a good upbringing. Kimmy really does a nice job on the opening number “Good Morning Baltimore” and then Sam and Kimmy really shine in “Welcome To The 60”s”. Pure fun! Sam and Scott are amazingly fun and charming when they do their song, “Your Timeless To Me”. They’ll warm your heart with a smile!”
Lorenzo Marchessi, Van Nuys News Press


“Sam Zeller beautifully played the very different role of Jean Valjean in PCPA’s LES MISERABLES–and once again he has some big shoes to fill. Edna Turnblad has been portrayed by the likes of drag artist Divine, Harvey Fierstein, and John Travolta. Add Zeller to this illustrious list. Zeller revels in hamming up the drag aspect, showing some leg and scoring huge laughs from the audience. But he’s also sympathetic as a woman who’s reluctantly discovering the freedom of the new decade she’s living in. “Welcome to the ’60’s” is one of the most joyous numbers.”
–Santa Barbara Sun

“No Hairspray can do John Waters justice without an Edna to fill the movie’s cross-dressing original’s “Divine” shoes, and in the sensational Sam Zeller, this Hairspray hits the bull’s-eye. Looking like the lovechild of Lucille Ball and Jane Russell on steroids, Zeller’s stellar turn recalls Lucy’s comedic genius and Russell’s glamazon looks. Larger than life (as any Edna worth her salt must be) yet never sacrificing the big, blond(ish), and beautiful lady’s tender side, the vocally blessed Zeller makes the part his own—and then some.”

“Zeller is a hoot as the plus-size mother with a great hunger for her family’s happiness and for food. Zeller works well with Josh Machamer as Edna’s husband, Wilbur. Their scenes are touching and sweet.”
–Santa Maria Times

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