You Can't Stop the Beat: ‘Hairspray Kicks Off 44th Season of Broadway San Diego

The musical comedy is launching its North American tour in San Diego, with performances from Nov. 16 through Nov. 21 at the San Diego Civic Theatre

Good morning, Baltimore! San Diego! The 44th season of Broadway San Diego is set to kick off next month with the Tony Award-winning musical comedy “Hairspray.” Here are the details.

What to Know

  • Performance Dates & Venue: Nov. 16 to Nov. 21, 2021; San Diego Civic Theatre at 1100 3rd Ave. and B St. in downtown San Diego
  • Tickets: You can buy tickets here now, with prices ranging from $35.50 to $115.50
  • COVID-19 Safety Protocols: Broadway San Diego is requiring all patrons to wear masks and to show full proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative coronavirus PCR test to attend all events through Dec. 31, 2021; here's more info on the latest safety protocols

“Hairspray’s” new North American tour launches in San Diego from Nov. 16 to Nov. 21, 2021, with eight performances at the San Diego Civic Theatre in downtown San Diego. This is the schedule:

  • Nov. 16, 2021 at 7 p.m.
  • Nov. 17, 2021 at 7 p.m.
  • Nov. 18, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 19, 2021 at 8 p.m.
  • Nov. 20, 2021 at 2 p.m.
  • Nov. 20, 2021 at 8 p.m.
  • Nov. 21, 2021 at 1 p.m.
  • Nov. 21, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets start at $35.50 and are available online here.

Broadway San Diego said the cast of “Hairspray” will be led by Niki Metcalf as Tracy Turnblad and Andrew Levitt aka Nina West (“RuPaul’s Drag Race”) as Edna Turnblad. Toneisha Harris – from NBC’s “The Voice” – will play Motormouth Maybelle.

Mark J. Franklin
Andrew Levitt aka Nina West (Edna Turnblad), Niki Metcalf (Tracy Turnblad) and Toneisha Harris (Motormouth Maybelle)

The new touring production is headed up by Jack O’Brien – the former artistic director of The Old Globe – and choreographer Jerry Mitchell, Broadway San Diego said.

It follows the story of teenager Tracy Turnblad in 1960s Baltimore as she – and her unforgettable big hair – dreams of dancing on TV’s “The Corny Collins Show.” Along the way, she campaigns for integration and lead the charge on social change.

“It’s a brand-new world we find ourselves in today, and ‘HAIRSPRAY’ is meeting this challenge full-on with even more joy and purpose,” O’Brien said in a press release.

He added that the audience can expect that “famous, energy-packed score” and lots and lots of dancing.

Broadway San Diego said that the show – which debuted in 2002 – is the 22nd longest-running show in Broadway history.

Chris Bennion & Jeremy Daniel
"Welcome to the '60s," performed by the Broadway touring cast of "Hairspray," heading to the San Diego Civic Theatre next month.

COVID-19 Safety Protocols at Broadway San Diego

Pandemic and all, “Hairspray’s” launch in San Diego shows that “You Can’t Stop the Beat” for live theater – even if things look and feel a bit different these days.

Broadway San Diego said that all patrons will be required to wear masks and show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test to attend all events through Dec. 31, 2021.

Broadway San Diego said the only exceptions are patrons under the age of 12, who must be accompanied by an adult who meets the vaccination requirements. Medical or religious exemptions will also be accommodated. Patrols who can’t be vaccinated for either reason must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of the start of the performance that they want to attend.

You can find Broadway San Diego’s vaccination and mask policy here.

Live theater, like so many industries, has been deeply impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. On Broadway in New York City, things are far from back to normal. Shows are returning and starting to welcome back audiences, but the progress is slow-going.

MOXIE Theatre is welcoming a live audience back inside for the first time after a year-and-a-half of pandemic darkness. NBC 7's Joe Little spoke with the theatre's executive artistic director who says the theatre industry is not quite out of the woods yet.

Broadway San Diego’s 44th Season: Other Upcoming Events

After “Hairspray,” Broadway San Diego will roll out about a dozen more productions during its 44th season, plus a few extra season events and some rescheduled shows from the 2019-2020 season that were canceled at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

Here are the upcoming events:

  • “Alton Brown Live: Beyond the Eats” on Nov. 14 (extra season event)
  • “My Fair Lady,” running from Nov. 30 to Dec. 5, 2021 (2019-2020 season)
  • “A Magical Cirque Christmas” on Dec. 27 (extra season event)
  • “35th Anniversary Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis” on Dec. 30 (extra season event)
  • “The Simon and Garfunkel Story” on Jan. 6, 2022
  • “The Band’s Visit,” running from March 1 to March 6, 2022
  • “Tootsie,” running from April 12 to April 17, 2022
  • “Rent: 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour,” running from April 22 to April 24, 2022 (extra season event, from 2019-2020 season)
  • “Come From Away,” running from May 17 to May 22, 2022 (2019-2020 season)
  • “Hadestown,” running from May 31 to June 5, 2022
  • “Pretty Woman: The Musical,” running from July 26 to July 31, 2022
  • “To Kill a Mockingbird,” running from Nov. 29 to Dec. 4, 2022
  • “Mean Girls,” running from Feb. 28, 2023, to March 5, 2023 (2019-2020 season)
  • “1776: The Musical,” running from May 9, 2023, to May 14, 2023

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