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Big comedy, big hair, big musical!

HairsprayCOLUMBUS, Miss. -- The talent of some of The W’s own will be showcased in the production of “Hairspray” presented by New Stage Theatre in Jackson May 28-June 9.


Preview night is Tuesday, May 28 at 7:30 p.m. Curtain times and dates for all other performances are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Sundays.

Peppy Biddy, chair of The W theatre department, will play Wilbur Turnblad, and David Carter, associate professor in the department, is designing the set for “Hairspray.”

“Hairspray” will delight audiences by sweeping them away to 1960s Baltimore, where the ‘50s are out -- and change is in the air! It's 1962 in Baltimore, and the lovable plus-size teen Tracy Turnblad has only one desire -- to dance on the popular Corny Collins Show. When her dream comes true, Turnblad is transformed from social outcast to sudden star. She must use her newfound power to dethrone the reigning Teen Queen, win the affections of heartthrob Link Larkin, and integrate a TV network, all without denting her 'do!

Winner of eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, “Hairspray” is a family-friendly musical piled bouffant high with laughter, romance and deliriously tuneful songs including “Mama,” “I’m a Big Girl Now,”  “You Can’t Stop the Beat” and “Good Morning Baltimore.”

New Stage Artistic Director Francine Thomas Reynolds directs the musical comedy, whose recent credits include “Mahalia,” “The Great Gatsby,” “Lombardi,” “Annie,” “Dracula” and “A Soldier’s Play.” Reynolds has worked as a professional actress and director for more than 20 years and has been the artistic director at New Stage Theatre since 2006.

The cast includes Hayley Anna Norris as Tracy Turnblad (Madison), Ray McFarland as Edna Turnblad (Jackson), Regan McLellan as Link Larkin (Gloster, La.), Evan Siegel as Corny Collins (New York, N.Y.), Laura Landrum as Amber Von Tussle (Jackson), Jessica Wilkinson as Velma Von Tussle (Richland), Jaclyn Bethany as Penny Pingleton (Jackson), Lavonne Bruckner as Prudy Pingleton (Brandon), Jacobi Hall as Seaweed J. Stubbs (Huntsville, Ala.), Sharon Miles as Motormouth Maybelle (Hattiesburg), Darby Farr as Little Inez (Jackson) and Chris Roebuck as Harriman F. Spritzer (Ridgeland). McFarland, Siegel and Biddy appear through the courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association.

Also included in the cast are Coleman Annison (Madison), Sarah Renick (Houston, Texas), Neal Buckley (Madison), Kate Yost (Madison), Trisdon Runnels (Jackson), Dalton Mitchell (Brandon), Jessica Ziegelbauer (Ridgeland), Andrew James Craig (Carol Stream, Ill.), Sarah Jewel Proctor (Brandon), Mary Sanderson (Brandon), Donavan Davis (New Orleans, La.), Marcus Yates (Greenwood), Ashia Kendrick (Gulfport), James Watson (Canton), Charence Higgins (Madison), Aaliyah Bass (Jackson) and Taylor White (Jackson).

Members of the band include Music Director Harlan Zackery, Jr. on keyboard, Labethani May on keyboard, Jimmy Turner on guitar, Andrew Dillon on bass and Clifford Gordon on reeds.
An Actor Chat is immediately following the performances on Wednesday, May 29 and Wednesday, June 5.

Ticket prices are $28 with discounts available for students, senior citizens and groups. Student Rush tickets are also available one hour prior to each performance for $10 with valid student identification. Tickets can be purchased at the box office, located inside the Jane Reid Petty Theatre Center, charged by phone by calling the theatre at (601) 948-3531 or ordered online at www.newstagetheatre.com.

“Hairspray” is sponsored by The Gertrude C. Ford Foundation and BankPlus.



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Columbus Welcomes You

The town, which sits on the banks of the Tombigbee River, is widely recognized for its historic character. It is home to three National Register Districts and is nationally prominent for its annual Spring Pilgrimage, an award-winning event that showcases homes dating to the 1800s.

Columbus also has a rich literary heritage, both as the birthplace of noted playwright Tennessee Williams and its connection to Pulitzer-Prize winning author Eudora Welty, who attended The W. You'll be immersed in history and culture.

Nearby downtown has plenty to offer, with restaurants, boutiques, antique galleries, and the Rosenzweig Arts Center. Within walking distance of campus, downtown is a place to explore and enjoy.


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