Hairspray comes to McCain after pandemic delay

Hairspray PracticeThe show must go on even if it’s a year or so later.

When Meridian Community College Arts & Letters Series Coordinator Susie Johnson nailed down the show cast in January 2020 for the musical “Hairspray,” little did the world know COVID would alter everything in the theater world.

As the pandemic environment changed and gathering restrictions lessened, Johnson received the green light to go with the show in March. But she ran into what seemed like another hurdle. “Several actors had graduated and moved away, so we had to recast several ensemble members,” Johnson said.

“However, some leads were so committed that they have driven back and forth on the weekends from Nashville, Oxford, Starkville, Hattiesburg and Decatur for rehearsals,” she added. 

Johnson noted the actors had been so dedicated that they have pitched in with tasks ranging from stage décor to costumes to choreography assistance.

“It’s an awesome community collaboration,” she said.

Students in the play range in age 14 and up and come from private and public schools, home education environments and community and universities across the state.

This energetic and talented cast will star in “Hairspray” on May 14 and 15 with curtain at 7 p.m. and on May 16 with a 3 o’clock matinee. All performances will be held in MCC’s McCain Theater.

Winner of eight Tony Awards including best musical, “Hairspray” is a family-friendly musical event that reaches back to 1962’s Baltimore and tells the tale of Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart who desires to dance on the popular Corny Collins Show. 

When her dream comes true, Tracy is transformed from social outcast to sudden teen celebrity and must use her newfound power to dethrone the reigning Teen Queen, win the affections of heartthrob Link Larkin and integrate a TV network.

Emily Huebner stars as Tracy; Zena Limerick and Sean-Patrick are her parents, Edna and Wilbur Turnblad; James Gibson as the man of her dreams, Link Larkin; Lucas Orndorff as Corny Collins; Virginia White as Velma; Piper Gonzalez as Amber; Belle Pickard as Penny; Nate Latham as Seaweed; and Kahia Buckley as Motormouth Maybelle. There is an all-singing, all-dancing ensemble to round out the cast.

Directing team for this musical includes Johnson, Lucas Orndorff, Apryl Sharp ad Dixie Tibbetts. MCC Physical Plant personnel, including Jim Price and Albert Espey, helped to build the set, Johnson added.


For ticket information, email or call 601.678.8328.