Broadway choreographer returns to SHSU for Hairspray

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HUNTSVILLE, Tex. (KBTX) Students at Sam Houston State University's Department of Musical Theater are bringing "Hairspray" to campus.

Greg Graham graduated from Sam Houston State University's Musical Theater program in 1999. Since then, he has been building a highly decorated resume.

The Broadway choreographer just finished working as an associate choreographer for NBC's "Hairspray Live!"

"The music is fantastic. It's one of the greatest scores I've ever been able to be a part of,” said Graham.

Graham has recently returned to his alma mater to direct and choreograph "Hairspray" for the university's Musical Theater Department.

"I want the students to know that it's possible. That they can achieve what I've been able to achieve, and what other former students have been able to achieve, both at the Broadway level and at the Hollywood level,” said Graham.

Julianne McBride plays the lead role of 'Tracy'.

"I’m a freshman musical theater major here, and this is the coolest thing I’ve ever done so far. Greg is so amazing. He really believes in us and just wants us to succeed. I think that's going to show in our performance,” said McBride.

Steven Bogard plays the role of 'Edna', and has over 25 years of experience in theater, including time on Broadway. He says he and Graham both worked alongside the choreographer for Hairspray Live, Jerry Mitchell.

"It's fun to get back into Jerry's head through. It's great to work with a contemporary who kind of gets the whole idea of how to put a show together fast and professionally,” said Bogard.

Graham says he hopes that everyone who comes to the performance leaves happy and humming along to the songs, but also recognizes the story's important message.

"There are still things that are very relevant today that were relevant in 1962 and we're still trying as a culture and society to overcome things that should be overcome," said Graham.

Hairspray will run April 26 through 29 with performances at 2 and 8 p.m.

The show will be held at the Erica Starr Theatre on campus.

Friday and Saturday shows are currently sold out, but tickets are still available for Wednesday and Thursday shows.

For more information, contact the University Theatre Center Box Office at 936-294-1339 or visit shsu.edu/boxoffice to purchase tickets online.