Guide to seeing Hairspray in Melbourne

cast of Hairspray the musical

Alice Piper

Posted August 16, 2022

The award-winning musical Hairspray is now playing at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre. Here’s everything you need to know before seeing this global sensation in Melbourne.

Welcome to the Sixties! The original, fabulous, award-winning Broadway showstopper, Hairspray, is now showing at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre, starring many famous Australian faces.

The Australian production of Hairspray is directed by Matt Lenz, with choreography re-created by Dominic Shaw, and features the all the original fan favourite songs such as “Good Morning, Baltimore”, “Big, Blonde and Beautiful” and “You Can’t Stop the Beat”, as leading character Tracy Turnblad brings together segregated communities in 1960s Baltimore through song and dance.

From parking near the Regent Theatre to where to eat, drink and how to get tickets, here’s your complete guide to seeing Hairspray live on stage in Melbourne.  

Love a night out at the theatre? RACV Members can enjoy a whole new suite of benefits, with exclusive offers to access a range of theatre experiences and events in Melbourne’s famed East End.

Everything you need to know to see Hairspray in Melbourne

What is Hairspray about?

Hairspray is a romantic comedy set in racially segregated 1960s Baltimore and is based on the dreams of  teenager Tracy Turnblad, whose ultimate dream is to sing and dance on The Corny Collins Show.

When Tracy’s dream becomes reality and she is thrust into sudden stardom, the starlet uses her newfound power to break down social and societal barriers, integrate a once segregated TV network, fall in love and find new friends who love life just as much as she does.

Hairspray is the winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and is finding increasing relevance with new audiences. The story of Tracy Turnblad and her desire to bring people together is more pertinent than ever, while the show touches on themes such as individuality, body image, student activism and fighting for what’s right.

Hairspray the musical cast

It was always Tracy's dream to be on The Corny Collins Show. Image: Jeff Busby.

What do I need to know before I see Hairspray?

Before going to see Hairspray at the Regent Theatre, it’s worth familiarising yourself with the American Civil Rights Movement of 1950s and 1960s America. Hairspray addresses racial segregation and discrimination in places like schools, television networks, public transport, the music industry, radio and more.

You can also watch Hairspray the film and listen to the soundtrack, so that you’re ready to sing along with the musical.  

Is Hairspray suitable for children?

Hairspray is a lighter take on serious societal issues, making this high-energy song and dance theatre show family friendly. The show is recommended for people ages 8 and above.

If you are planning to take young kids, be mindful the Regent Theatre does not allow prams, pushers, or strollers inside the venue.

Who is the Melbourne cast in Hairspray?

The Melbourne production of Hairspray stars some loved and familiar stage and screen performers. Cast members starring in the theatre show include:

  • Shane Jacobson as Edna Turnblad
  • Todd McKenney as Wilbur Turnblad
  • Rob Mills as Corny Collins
  • Rhonda Burchmore as Velma Von Tussle
  • Carmel Rodrigues as Tracy Turnblad
  • Asabi Goodman as Motormouth Maybell,
  • Donna Lee as Female Authority Figure
  • Brianna Bishop as Amber von Tussle
  • Ayanda Dlada as Little Inez
  • Mackenzie Dunn as Penny Pingleton
  • Sean Johnston as Link Larkin
  • Todd Goddard as Male Authority Figure
  • Javon King as Seaweed J Stubbs
cast of Hairspray the musical

Shane Jacobson plays Edna Turnblad, and Todd McKenny plays Wilbur Turnblad. Image: Jeff Busby.

How long does Hairspray go for?

Hairspray runs for approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes, including a 20 minute interval. This is longer than SIX The Musical’s 75-minute running time, and just short of Happy Potter and the Cursed Child and Hamilton.

How long is Hairspray playing in Melbourne for?

Hairspray is showing in Melbourne from 7 August – 30 October 2022. Don’t delay in securing your seats as tickets to Hairspray are expected to sell out fast.

Which theatre is Hairspray showing in?

Hairspray is showing at Melbourne’s prestigious Regent Theatre. Opened as a grand picture palace in 1929, the luxurious theatre seats 2,145 people on its generous leather seats, adorned with original chandeliers and lavish gold interiors.  

The luxurious theatre is based on the New York Capitol Theatre and is home to both the entertainment theatre and underground Plaza Ballroom, which can be used for private functions or as a unique wedding venue.  

It’s recommended to arrive 30-45 minutes before your performance start time at the Regent Theatre. This allows time to find parking, check in, have tickets scanned, go to the bathroom, order a drink at the bar, and find your seat before the show starts. With potentially more than 2,000 people seeing Hairspray with you, it’s wise to factor in time for lines.


cast of Hairspray the musical

Fan favourite songs are a key feature of Hairspray. Image: Jeff Busby.

Does the Regent Theatre have a dress code?

There is no formal dress code for the Regent Theatre or Hairspray, however, you may consider dressing up a bit as this show is colourful, fun and leans into 60’s fashion with more sequins and feathers than you can count – so have a bit of fun and break out the velvet threads or other retro fashion items.

Many theatre goers dress formally, as for a ballet or opera, while most people dress in smart casual wear. Wear what you're comfortable in.

How can I buy tickets to Hairspray?

You can buy Hairspray tickets from the Regent Theatre’s official ticketing partner, Ticketek.  Tickets purchased from any other sources may not be valid, so make sure to buy only from Ticketek.

For people with mobility impairments, or difficulty negotiating steps, it’s advised to book seating in the Stalls area, as there are several large staircases leading to the Dress Circle.

For all wheelchair/accessible seating enquiries, contact the Regent Theatre Box Office on 1300 11 10 11.

What restaurants are near the Regent Theatre Melbourne?

The Regent Theatre is perfectly positioned for you to try several of Melbourne’s world-class dining options, with nearby Flinders Lane housing favourites like Chin Chin, Coda, and Kisumé.

Another option is nearby Chinatown, one of Melbourne’s famous cultural dining hubs, which is just around the corner from the Regent Theatre.

Or, if you're keen to try some of Melbourne’s best Japanese food, head to Yakimono on Collins Street. Yakimono combines both traditional and modern Japanese cuisine for a new take on the classic dishes.

Close to the Regent Theatre, Betty’s Burgers is the place to go for an American dining experience. With everything from onion rings, shakes, and the classic cheeseburger, this colourful retro diner will have you feeling like you’re on set in Hairspray hanging out with Tracy and her friends.

For group bookings, Sojourn offers large share plates focused on local Victorian produce and is just a short walk from the Regent Theatre.


tracy and link from Hairspray the musical

Will Tracy end up with the love of her life, Link? Image: Jess Busby.


What bars are near the Regent Theatre Melbourne?

If you're keen for a drink before seeing Hairspray, go for a pre-show drink at the nearby Bourke Street Green, Collins Quarter, or The Mill House, all which offer sweet and sour cocktail and non-alcoholic options.

You can also take advantage of Melbourne’s CBD for a post-show tipple at some of the best cocktail bars in Melbourne, such as Byrdi, or try one of the new bars open around the CBD, such as Bar Margaux, Goldilocks or Golden Monkey.

Can I get food at the Regent Theatre Melbourne?

Yes, like a lot of theatres in Melbourne, the Regent Theatre offers a range of theatre snacks and desserts which you can purchase before the show, as well as a licensed bar. 

However, no hot food is permitted inside the theatre. 

How do I get to the Regent Theatre Melbourne?

The Regent Theatre is easily accessible via public transport, being just a short four-minute walk from Flinders Street Station, or via the 1, 16, 48, 59 and 86 trams.

If you need to hail a taxi, there are taxi bays right out the front of the Regent Theatre.

Where do I park at the Regent Theatre Melbourne?

The Regent Theatre is close to many carparks, including Wilson Parking, the Novotel and Little Collins parking lots.

The closest car park is Wilson Parking at 161 Collins Street, just 120 metres from the Regent Theatre. It's open 6am-midnight Sunday to Thursday, and from 6am-2am Friday and Saturday.

There is limited street parking along Collins Street and surrounds. Before you decide whether to catch public transport or drive to Hairspray, use arevo, which can give you real-time information on things like parking and public transport delays. 


RACV Members get exclusive pre-sales, bonus value and access to the best live theatre experiences at Melbourne’s most iconic venues.
Discover more →