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The 'Hairspray' Musical Is Bringing Its Tony-Winning 60s Teen Dreams to Melbourne From August

Melbourne's Regent Theatre will play host to a local staging of the original Broadway production, which picked up eight Tony Awards.
By Sarah Ward
February 14, 2022
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By Sarah Ward
February 14, 2022
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Back in 1988, when John Waters wrote and directed Hairspray, he couldn't have known what'd follow. The cult filmmaker's flick was a modest hit to begin with, but really became a sensation on home video in the early 90s. The film's star Ricki Lake, who made her big-screen debut playing 60s teen Tracy Turnblad, also became one of the decade's big talkshow hosts. That's a wild path for any movie to take, but Hairspray's story doesn't end there. A theatre adaptation followed in 2002, as did eight Tony Awards. Then came a new 2007 movie based on that stage musical.

Yes, Hairspray has lived many lives — and in its latest, it's heading to Melbourne. In its on-stage, all-singing, all-dancing guise, it'll spin the dance-loving Turnblad's tale of teen dreams and making a difference at Melbourne's Regent Theatre from August.

Turnblad has one specific fantasy, actually: to dance on The Corny Collins Show. And when she makes it, it changes her life — but she has more change to fight for, too. The story unfolds in 1962 in Baltimore, Maryland, where racial discrimination is an everyday part of life. So, Turnblad uses her newfound fame to advocate for a different future for everyone.

When Hairspray plays Melbourne — with its exact August premiere date yet to be revealed — it'll do so with a local staging of the original Broadway production, and with director Jack O'Brien (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and choreographer Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots) guiding show.

Only one cast member has been announced so far: Shane Jacobson. He'll swap Kenny's overalls, his numerous TV hosting gigs and appearing in seemingly every Australian movie made over the past decade for the role of Edna Turnblad, Tracy's mother, which was played by the inimitable Divine in Waters' movie, Harvey Fierstein on Broadway and John Travolta in the 2007 film.

When tickets will go on sale hasn't been announced yet either, but you can check out a clip from the US tour below in the interim:

Hairspray will open at the Regent Theatre, 191 Collins Street, Melbourne, in August — we'll update you with exact dates when they're announced. In the interim, you can join the show's ticket waitlist by heading to its website.

Top image: Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic via Getty Images.

Published on February 14, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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