Hairspray’s Broadway Tour Brings The Beat To The Hobby Center in Houston

Hairspray came to Houston last Tuesday, June 4 during their National Tour as part of the Memorial Hermann Broadway at the Hobby Center 2024-2025 Season, and I was pleased to attend Media Night. This all-new touring production of Hairspray is currently in its third season and reunites Broadway’s award-winning creative team, Director Jack O’Brien and Choreographer Jerry Mitchell, to bring this Tony-Award-winning musical to a new generation of theater audiences. It features a book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan.

“It’s a brand-new world we find ourselves in today, and HAIRSPRAY is even more relevant than twenty years ago when it first burst onto the scene. With a whole new generation of wildly talented kids across the board, we cannot wait to raise the various roofs once more with dance, joy, music, and that glorious, famous, energy-packed score!” shared Director Jack O’Brien.

“You Can’t Stop The Beat” (Nov 23) – (center) Caroline Eiseman as “Tracy Turnblad” and Company in Hairspray. Photo: Jeremy Daniel.

Since its premiere in November 2021, the show has been seen by more than 886,000 audience members, played in 118 cities in North America, and visited 44 States and the District of Columbia. This musical is based on the film from 1988, has won eight Tony Awards in 2003, including Best Musical, and is scheduled to visit 45 cities during its third season.

This musical originally opened in Seattle in 2002 and later transferred to Broadway that same year. The production ran for over six years and officially closed in 2009, achieving 2,642 performances. It is the 24th longest-running show in Broadway history. Notably, among the original Broadway cast members was Harvey Fierstein as Edna.

The story follows 16-year-old Tracy Turnblad, an overweight girl in Baltimore, during the 1960s as she tries to dance her way onto the most popular dance show for teens on TV, The Corny Collins Show. After winning her spot on the show, she becomes famous and ultimately fights for integration of the show. 

“Welcome to the 60s” (Nov 23) – (from L) Caroline Eiseman as “Tracy Turnblad,” Greg Kalafatas as “Edna Turnblad” and Company in Hairspray. Photo: Jeremy Daniel.

The recurring themes of this musical are body-shaming and racism, which unfortunately are still relevant to this day. This musical still gives its modern audience a stark reminder of how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go to achieve diversity, equity, and inclusion. The leads Caroline Eisman as Tracy and Greg Kalafatas as Edna both quickly became adored characters of this show, portraying their mother-daughter relationship with an empowering and poised femininity.

I was having the best time watching this show! The singing was superb, the costumes were captivating, and the whole production was exhilarating. This musical is a great show to bring the whole family to. I was also delighted to see this musical during Pride Month, as every audience member received Rainbow Playbills. You really get a bang for your buck for a Broadway show – tickets were starting at $35! Whether you’re a Broadway enthusiast or a first-time goer, I recommend you catch a show in a city near you. Hairspray still has a couple of stops left of their National Tour this month and you can buy tickets on their website.


  • Sonia Sanchez

    Sonia Sanchez is a vibrant journalist with Mexican roots that has a penchant for spreading good news. Her journey into journalism began at The Dateline, the student-run newspaper for The University of Houston-Downtown. She has a Master of Science in Technical Communication and Bachelor of Science in Professional Writing. She is also a Latina in Tech that runs a technical writing business called Simply Write for clients such as HP, Inc. She enjoys taking Hip-Hop and Street Jazz dance classes around Houston for fun. Recognized for her contributions to journalism, Sonia received a scholarship from the Houston Association of Hispanic Media Professionals. With a passion for cultural topics and a dedication to uplifting the Latino community, Sonia continues to make her mark as a journalist with heart and credibility. She is also passionate about the advancement of women, especially Latinas.

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