Local cast members shimmy into Hairspray at Starlight this July!

Welcome to the ’60s, Kansas City! Hairspray, Broadway’s Tony Award-winning musical comedy phenomenon, plays Starlight Theatre for six performances, Friday, July 27 – Thursday, August 2. Set in 1960s’ Baltimore, Hairspray tells the story of 16-year-old Tracy Turnblad, who intends to groove her way onto TV’s most popular dance program, “The Corny Collins Show.” After auditioning and ultimately winning a role with the show’s dance company, Tracy becomes an overnight sensation and uses her newfound influence to advocate for the show’s racial integration. With the help of her fellow cast mates, Tracy tries to change the world, dethrone the reigning Teen Queen and win the affections of heartthrob, Link Larkin—all without denting her ‘do!

The original production of Hairspray won eight Tony Awards®, including Best Musical. The New York Times raved, “If life were everything it should be, it would be more like Hairspray. It’s irresistible!” Hairspray features beloved songs as “Good Morning Baltimore,” “Welcome to the 60’s,” “Without Love” and “You Can’t Stop the Beat.”

This feel-good musical is directed and choreographed by Broadway veteran turned Kansas City local Jerry Jay Cranford, whose favorite directing credits include Les Miserables and Putnam County Spelling Bee for the Merry-Go-Round Theatre in New York, Madagascar: A Musical Adventure (world premiere working with MTI licensing) at the Coterie Theatre, and The Marvelous Wonderettes in Vancouver.

Hairspray’s principal and ensemble cast will also include a number of performers with Kansas City roots, many of whom are making their return to the Starlight Theatre stage! 

Kansas City native Jessica Alcorn portrays the lead role of Tracy Turnblad. She grew up training at Miller Marley School of Dance and MTKC and has performed with many theatre companies throughout the metro. Her most memorable roles include Princess Fiona (Shrek), Paulette (Legally Blonde) and Little Becky Two Shoes (Urinetown).  

Local actress Cathy Barnett plays Velma Von Tussle, adding Hairspray to her already impressive repertoire of Starlight appearances (Footloose, Grease, The Producers and The Sound of Music) and local actor Eric Geil portrays Hairspray’s teen heartthrob Link Larkin. Topeka native Don Denton returns to Starlight as show host Corny Collins—Denton played Kenicke in Starlight’s production of Grease last summer.

Ensemble members Justin Armer, Gabbie Fried and Courtney Germany are also among those returning to Starlight in Hairspray, and all were involved in Starlight’s educational programs as children.

Broadway star Brad Oscar joins the cast as Hairspray’s Edna Turnblad. A two-time Tony Award® nominee, some of Oscar’s most recent Broadway credits include The Addams Family, Big Fish and Something Rotten!

Hairspray opens at Starlight Theatre on Friday, July 27 and runs for six performances through Thursday, August 2. All shows start at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $14 and are available at www.kcstarlight.com, by calling 816.363.7827 or visiting the ticket office at 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City, Mo., 64132.