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REVIEW: Hairspray the Musical in Melbourne

The feel-good multi-award-winning Broadway show HAIRSPRAY the Musical has opened at the Regent Theatre Melbourne. Starring some of the finest stage and screen performers Shane Jacobson, Todd McKenney, Rhonda Burchmore, Rob Mills, Asabi Goodman and Carmel Rodrigues.

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REVIEW: Hairspray the Musical in Melbourne
Image: Brianna Bishop, Rob Mills, Carmel Rodrigues and cast. Photo by Jeff Busby

The show is based on the 1988 John Waters romantic comedy film Hairspray.

Hairspray is set in the 1960s in Baltimore, where a dance-loving teenager Tracy Turnblad inspires to dance on The Corny Collins Show and craves the attention and love of teen heartthrob Link Larkin.

When all her dream become true, it’s not all perfect. Tracy isn’t afraid to be herself and stand up for what she believes in, she ventures on a mission to fight for black teens to appear on The Corny Collins Show any day of the week, not just the monthly “Negro Day.”

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REVIEW: Hairspray the Musical in Melbourne
Image: Shane Jacobson & Todd McKenney. Photo by Jeff Busby

This fun-loving production owes so much to the impressive line-up of local and international performers. With so many strong performances during the night, the chemistry between the cast elevated the show to another level.

Carmel Rodrigues was flawless in her role-playing Tracy Turnblad. Shane Jacobson as Edna Turnblad and Todd McKenney as Wilbur Turnblad were playful and hilarious and stole the show.

Other standouts include Rhonda Burchmore as Velma Von TussleRob Mills as Corny Collins and the lovable best friend of Tracy Turnblad Mackenzie Dunn as Penny.

Asabi Goodman as Motormouth Maybelle produced some incredible powerhouse ballads and it was hard to take your eyes off the talented Javon King as Seaweed J Stubbs. 

REVIEW: Hairspray the Musical in Melbourne
Image: Todd McKenney, Asabi Goodman, Mackenzie Dunn, Shane Jacobson and Carmel Rodrigues. Photo by Jeff Busby
REVIEW: Hairspray the Musical in Melbourne
Image: Mackenzie Dunn, Javon King, Carmel Rodrigues and Sean Johnston. Photo by Jeff Busby

Winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Hairspray’s story is more effective and pertinent than ever; and with the brilliant original creative team at the helm – director Jack O’Brien (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and choreographer Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots) – this joyous new Australian production of Hairspray features the irrepressible toe-tapping songs “Good Morning, Baltimore”“Big, Blonde and Beautiful” and “You Can’t Stop the Beat”.

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REVIEW: Hairspray the Musical in Melbourne
Image: Rhonda Burchmore and cast. Photo by Jeff Busby

The musical sparks conversations about positive body image, racism and standing up for what you believe in. The cast received a standing ovation on the night,  which is well-deserved.

HAIRSPRAY the Musical delivers everything you want when going out to the theatre, plenty of laughs, catchy songs and feel-good vibes.

This show is recommended for ages 8 and above.

HAIRSPRAY the Musical 
Date: on until 9 October 2022
Location: Regent Theatre, 191 Collins Street, Melbourne
Price: $85 – $223 + BF

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We try our best to provide accurate information on kid-friendly events around Victoria but do recommend parents check details directly to confirm dates, times, prices as some details may be subject to change.

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