HAIRSPRAY Performs at Theatre Memphis in June
Hairspray, a Tony Award winner for Best Musical, performs on the Lohrey Stage at Theatre Memphis June 7 -30, 2019. Co-directed and co-choreographed by Jordan Nichols and Travis Bradley, this high energy American musical is set in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1962. Tracy Turnblad's dream is to be on The Corny Collins Show, a local TV dance show. When she wins a role on the show she becomes an overnight celebrity and meets a colorful array of characters leading to social change as Tracy campaigns for the show's integration. As part of the Memphis bicetenniual commemoration, this production of Hairspray is an official event of the New Century of Soul, #MEM200.
According to Nichols and Bradley, this production shapes up to be a wildly entertaining show with a real statement. "At the heart of the show, Hairspray is a story of inclusivity and fighting for social justice," says Nichols. Bradley adds, "We had to create two varying worlds of movement that showcase the racial divide... to create a fusion of dance ... where all are able to celebrate as one collective unit." Nichols chimes in, "We live in a world where people are still being marginalized due to the color of their skin, their religion, their gender or sexuality. Hairspray asks that we, particularly as a country, find a way to look past our differences and come together to celebrate unity and lift one another up."
Theatre Memphis Executive Producer Debbie Litch smiles as she talks about the 2018-19 season-closing musical. "There is so much energy in Hairspray that it is hard to contain it to just the stage," she says. "The message of cultural interaction and ultimate unity is also contagious and speaks to a real message that we all need to hear right now." Litch also believes being a partner with the New Century of Soul commemoration also has meaning. "Promoting Memphis as a diverse cultural destination is important to the arts in so many ways. The Hairspray plot is a perfect story to support that message to the public."