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‘Hairspray’ Announces Full Cast for Upcoming National Tour

The producers of Hairspray, Broadway’s Tony Award®-winning musical comedy phenomenon, have just announced the full cast for the upcoming new North American tour, helmed by Jack O’Brien and Jerry Mitchell.

Joining the previously announced principal cast of Andrew Levitt aka Nina West (from “RuPaul’s Drag Race”) as Edna Turnblad, Niki Metcalf as Tracy Turnblad and Toneisha Harris (from NBC’s “The Voice”) as Motormouth Maybelle will be Billy Dawson as Corny Collins, Will Savarese as Link Larkin, Emery Henderson as Penny Pingleton, Brandon G. Stalling as Seaweed J. Stubbs, Kaelee Albritton as Amber Von Tussle and Addison Garner as Velma Von Tussle.

Christopher Swan will play Wilbur Turnblad and Kaléa Leverette will play Little Inez with Caroline Daye Attayek, Kelly Barberito, Helene Britany, Jamonté Bruten, Tanner Callicutt, Ryahn Evers, Michael Corey Hassel, Kaleb Jenkins, Greg Kalafatas, Gabriel Kearns, Caira Asanté Lakota, Stevie LeWarne, Jr., Brendan Morris, Faith Northcutt, Adam Blake Raque, Renée Reid, Sydney Simone, Christopher Swan, Gabriyel Thomas, George Vickers V, Mea Wilkerson and Emanuelle Zeesman as members of the ensemble.

Hairspray will visit more than 60 cities in its first touring season and is expected to play for multiple seasons. Learn more about the new touring production at http://www.hairspraytour.com. Click here for the current tour route.

The tour will be stage managed by Mary Dennis and Sergio Manriquez, and company managed by Ryan Parliment.

“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 the renewed, refreshed energy of the unforgettable “Nina West” as Edna and 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.

Choreographer Jerry Mitchell added, “Hairspray has always been about all of us dancing together! I am thrilled to welcome this NEW company of amazing #FULLOUT talents to lead the way as we dance across America with a message of inclusion and hope because ‘You really Can’t Stop the Beat!’”

Hairspray is the story of 16-year-old Tracy Turnblad in 1960’s Baltimore as she sets out to dance her way onto TV’s most popular show. Can a girl with big dreams (and even bigger hair) change the world? Featuring the beloved score of hit songs including “Welcome to the 60’s,” “Good Morning Baltimore,” and “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” Hairspray is “fresh, winning, and deliriously tuneful!” (The New York Times).

This new touring production will reunite Broadway’s award-winning creative team, led by Director Jack O’Brien and Choreographer Jerry Mitchell, to bring Hairspray to a new generation of theater audiences. Hairspray is based on the New Line Cinema film written and directed by John Waters, who served as a creative consultant on the musical comedy. It features a book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan. Hairspray features an original score by Academy Award-nominated Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. The tour is produced by NETworks Presentations.

Additional creative team for Hairspray includes Tour Director Matt Lenz, Tour Choreographer Michele Lynch, Set Designer David Rockwell, Lighting Designer Kenneth Posner, Tour Lighting Designer Paul Miller, Costume Designer William Ivey Long, Hair and Wig Designer Paul Huntley and Richard Mawbey, Sound Designer Shannon Slaton, Music Supervisor Lon Hoyt and Casting by Stewart/Whitley.

Hairspray premiered at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theater in June 2002. The show was a smash hit when it transferred to Broadway, winning eight 2003 Tony Awards including Best Musical, and became the longest-running musical to play the Neil Simon Theater, running 2,642 performances from July 18, 2002, until January 4, 2009. It is the 22nd longest running show in Broadway history.

Principal Cast Bios

ANDREW LEVITT (Edna Turnblad) is thrilled to be part of the cast of Hairspray. He has performed as drag queen Nina West since 2001 and competed on Season 11 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, for which he was named Miss Congeniality. On stage, he starred in the regional premieres of Buyer and Cellar (Alex More) and Peter and the Starcatcher (Betty Bumbrake) with CATCO Theatre Columbus. In 2019, Andrew appeared in The Little Mermaid (Ursula) with the Butterfly Guild of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Other TV credits: RuPaul’s Celebrity Drag Race, Dragging the Classics: The Brady Bunch (Alice, Paramount+), This Is Me’ Pride Celebration Spectacular (Disney+), “The Blue’s Clues Pride Parade Singalong” and “The Meaning of Pride” (Nickelodeon). He provided the voice for the animated short Coaster. Andrew has released music EP’s “Drag Is Magic,” “The West Christmas Ever,” and “John Goodman” as Nina West; all have charted on Billboard’s Top 10 for Children’s Music and Comedy. Throughout his drag career, he has raised over $4 million dollars and started his own foundation, The Nina West Foundation, primarily serving LGBTQIA+ organizations and causes. Thanks to Mom, Dad, PT. Andrew would like to dedicate this performance to the memory of Kathy Ringley. @ninawest 

NIKI METCALF (Tracy Turnblad) is thrilled to be taking on a role she’s dreamed of playing since she first saw the original Broadway production! As a New York based actress from Saugerties, NY, and graduate of Montclair State University with a degree in Musical Theatre, some of her favorite credits include The Little Engine that Could Earns Her Whistle (Little Red, ArtsPower National Tour) and …Spelling Bee (Olive). Beyond grateful to my friends and family for their constant support, and to the team for this incredible opportunity to “eat some breakfast then change the world!” nikimetcalf.com 

TONEISHA HARRIS (Motormouth Maybelle) grew up in a small town in Maryland, with her start as a performer and vocalist deeply rooted in gospel music. “Call Jesus,” her 2007 duet with Bishop Bruce Parham, reached the Top 3 on the national Billboard Gospel 100; in 2011, she was a Top 20 contestant on BET’s “Sunday Best” gospel singing competition, and she has sung background vocals for gospel artist Maranda Curtis. Toneisha was the Season 18 runner-up on NBC’s The Voice (the highest-placing African American woman in the show’s history), and performed an original song, “My Superhero,” written for her youngest son during his battle with leukemia, which reached #8 on iTunes. She then released “Forgive Me” and “Let’s Change the World,” in addition to singing background vocals for Nick Jonas’ 2021 SNL appearance. Her acting credits include Avenue X (Julia), The Gospel at Colonus (Antigone), and Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey II). Toneisha resides in Atlanta with her husband and two sons. As a survivor of abuse, she strives to be a positive role model to other survivors, and she looks forward to using her expanding platform to offer messages of unity and positivity at a time of social turbulence and strife. 

KAELEE ALBRITTON (Amber Von Tussle). National tour debut! Originally from O’Fallon, IL. BFA Musical Theatre, The University of Mississippi. Select credits: Chicago (Roxie Hart), The Wedding Singer (Linda), Now Recording (Brandy/Show Captain, Hershey Park). Endless thanks to Stewart/Whitley and the entire Hairspray team. For Mom, Dad, Mike, Matthew, Brianna, Ian, Crissy, Jason, my NYC family, and my angel, Nana. Love and light to you all. @kaealbrittonnn 

BILLY DAWSON (Corny Collins). National tour debut! International: Universal Studios Japan. Regional: The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Quasimodo), The Last Five Years (Jamie), Jekyll & Hyde (Jekyll/Hyde), The Light in the Piazza (Fabrizio), Cabaret (Emcee), The Rocky Horror Show (Dr. Frank-N-Furter). Love and thanks to Mom, CF, Big Mouth Talent, and the Hairspray family. @dawsonbilly 

ADDISON GARNER (Velma Von Tussle), a southern gal from Alabama, is ecstatic to be joining the national tour of Hairspray. A musical theater graduate from the University of Mobile, favorite credits include Damn Yankees (Lola), Crazy for You (Irene), Singin’ in the Rain (Lina) and Velma Von Tussle in RCCL’s Hairspray (Velma Von Tussle). Forever grateful for her family, friends and ATB Talent for their endless encouragement, support, and love. Philippians 4:13. 

EMERY HENDERSON (Penny Pingleton) waited in line for nine hours to audition for this show. Then, there was a global pandemic. She grew up in Western Massachusetts with her mom Gail, her dad Michael, and her siblings, Elliot and Nina. 

WILL SAVARESE (Link Larkinis from New Rochelle, NY and so grateful to be making his professional theatre debut in Hairspray! Will has spent the past three years as part of the BFA Acting program at Baldwin Wallace University. Before getting this job, he worked as a cook and bartender in Ohio. There are many people whose help he would not be here without, including Mom, Dad, Mara, Jim Keith, the amazing faculty at Baldwin Wallace, and the best friends a guy could ask for. 

BRANDON G. STALLING (Seaweed J. Stubbshails from Chicago, IL. A proud alum of Oklahoma City University’s Acting Program, he is stoked to make his national tour debut! Credits: AIDA Cruises (Male Vocalist), The Little Mermaid  Sebastian, Pollard Theatre Company) All We Have Is Now (Danny, Downing/Wittmann Feature Film). Much love to the Spirit Family! 

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