New Hairspray musical coming to Melbourne’s Regent Theatre

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New Hairspray musical coming to Melbourne’s Regent Theatre

Hairspray musical

Eight-time Tony Award winning Broadway musical Hairspray is going to open at Melbourne's Regent Theatre in August, starring Shane Jacobson as beloved housewife Edna Turnblad.

The Broadway musical is set to open in August 2022 with acclaimed director Jack O’Brien (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), and choreographer Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots), leading a Broadway creative team to present Hairspray in Australia as originally intended.

Set in 1962 in Baltimore, Maryland, it tells the story of dance-loving teenager Tracy Turnblad who has a dream to dance on The Corny Collins Show. When her dream comes true, Tracy is transformed from social outcast to sudden star and she must use her newfound power to dethrone the reigning Teen Queen, win the affections of heartthrob Link Larkin and integrate a TV network… all without denting her hairdo.

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Aussie film-favourite Jacobson is set to star in the lead role, with his screen highlights including Kenny; Charlie & Boots with Paul Hogan; Hollywood blockbuster The Bourne Legacy; Oddball; The Dressmaker (2015); Bruce Beresford’s Ladies in Black;The Very Excellent Mr Dundee; Beaconsfield; Jack Irish; Top Gear Australia; Little Big Shots; The Real Full Monty and Australia’s Got Talent. On stage, Jacobson’s career highlights include a Helpmann Award for Best Male in a Supporting Role for ‘Nicely Nicely’ in the 2008 revival of the musical Guys and Dolls, The Drowsy Chaperone (2010), Shane Warne – The Musical (2013), Mother & Son (2014) and The Rocky Horror Show (2018).

“I am thrilled beyond thrilled to be back on stage in a musical again,” Jacobson says.

“The stage is truly my happy place, and the role of Edna Turnblad is a role I have always loved and wanted to play. My wife and kids are as excited as I am about the show, because the film Hairspray is one of our family favourites and now I get to be a part of bringing the show to life onstage for audiences of all ages. I can’t wait to hit the boards in heels.”

Australian Leading Producer John Frost invested heavily to secure the Australian rights and become co-producer of the Broadway production. His instincts were correct as it won eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, out of thirteen nominations.  Frost also won a Tony Award for his role as one of the originating producers. “I am thrilled the original Broadway version of Hairspray is finally coming to Australia,” he says. “It is an irresistibly feel-good and hilarious production for people of all ages to enjoy.”

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