“Hairspray,” Broadway’s Tony Award-winning musical comedy phenomenon, will be presented at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County from December 28, 2021 – January 2, 2022. The new touring production, helmed by Jack O’Brien and Jerry Mitchell, will star 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 with 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.
“Hairspray” kicks off the anticipated 15th anniversary season of Broadway in Miami. The new Broadway in Miami season is presented by Florida Theatrical Association with presenting sponsor Bank of America in association with the Adrienne Arsht Center along with support from Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
Christopher Swan plays Wilbur Turnblad and Kaléa Leverette plays 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 Emmanuelle Zeesman as members of the ensemble.
“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).
It was a pleasure to, once again, sit down with Andrew Levitt aka Nina West, for this exclusive Hotspots interview:
At what age did you begin performing?
I think I started performing when I was 8 years old, and it was for a church nativity production. We would also do our own family Christmas shows.
What was your first paid gig?
It might have been in drag, and it was $25 to do a 3 number guest spot for a show that lasted 5 hours. At the time, I was so excited to get paid for something I loved.
When did Drag come into the picture?
I got a full introduction to drag when I was 18 years old and in college and I went to a gay bar. When I saw my first drag queen, I was terrified, and I didn’t understand it. Then I was introduced to doing drag for our senior drag show in college for our LGBTQ student organization. The first song I ever did was Linda Eder’s Man of La Mancha. I thought I was fabulous but I am sure it was awful.
When did you know performing would be your career?
I knew early on; actually, I have always known. I would die if I could not entertain!
Other than this one, what has been your favorite role so far?
I love playing Nina as she is a character of my own creation. She has opened the door to everything for me.
What’s your fantasy role (a role you haven’t played but want to)?
Madame Morrible from Wicked would be amazing; King George would be so fun, and honestly if there is a challenge, I am up to it. I would also like to do Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
What did you do/accomplish during the pandemic?
It was really hard (for everybody) especially for performers and we had to reconstruct our mental space get used to being home all the time. For me it was busy, because as soon as I recognized we were going to be home for a long time I did a lot of charity work, wrote and released new music, did a Disney partnership with Disney Plus and worked with Nickelodeon and Blues Clues. I also wrote a children’s television show that we are trying to sell along with many projects I am not allowed to talk about. I worked a lot on myself as well. Honestly, I was working all the time.
Describe yourself in three words?
Thoughtful, joyful and kind.
Is there something about you we don’t know?
I think that I am an open book, but my favorite food is Pizza, no matter how it comes. I am a foodie!
What should our readers expect from this touring company of “Hairspray”?
They should expect to experience JOY. It’s the one thing I got out of this show. It was hard for me to sign the one-year contract with “Hairspray,” as I was concerned how I was going to do the same thing for a year. I am so used to doing different things every day as Nina. The fact that I got to see the audience reaction every single night keeps me excited about doing the show! It is a celebration of who we are as a country. It’s the perfect joyful medicine that we all need right now.
“Hairspray” 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. For more information, please visit Hairspraytour.com.
The Arsht Center remains deeply committed to the health and peace of mind of our guests, artists and staff. Based on guidance from national and local health officials, masks and proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test are required. Guests may volunteer proof of vaccination in lieu of a negative test.
Tickets to “Hairspray” are $35, $50, $70, $90, $120 and $150* and may be purchased now at the Adrienne Arsht Center box office by calling (305) 949-6722, or online at arshtcenter.org.