Morgan Oey speaking at press conference of Broadway Musical “Hairspray” by Marc Shaiman
Directed by Brandon Bieber, the original Broadway Musical “Hairspray” by Marc Shaiman will be performed at Ciputra Artpreneur, Jakarta. Photo Courtesy of  Teater Musik Nusantara (TEMAN)/NOWJAKARTA

Indonesian theatre company, Teater Musikal Nusantara (TEMAN) will be showcasing the original Broadway Musical “Hairspray” by Marc Shaiman on a two-day show at Ciputra Artpreneur, Jakarta. Directed by Brandon Bieber, who is also a Broadway actor, the original musical playbill will be performed by Indonesian young talents featuring the debut of Indonesian actor Morgan Oey, Opera singer Lea Simanjuntak, as well as other emerging actors such as Andrea Miranda, Gusty Pratamana and Peter Ong. 

After a successful debut showcasing “Into The Woods” last year at Salihara Jakarta, the Indonesian theatre company has opened the audition for homegrown talents to play the story centralised on the life of the character Tracy Turnblad, a young girl from Baltimore, United States who pursued the American dream. Highlighting the freedom of expression era in the 1960s, the Broadway musical has received positive responses from youth, theatre lovers and family, making it the best musical at 57th Tony Awards in 2003. The musical adaptation from the original book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan has also revived in 2007 through the movie with the original title.

Holding the license from Music Theatre International (MTI), the first “Hairspray” production in Indonesia will be featuring original musical numbers featuring the song Good Morning BaltimoreI Can Hear the Bells and You Can’t Stop the Beat

The musical production in Indonesia is produced by Chriskevin Adefrid, who is also the founder of the TEMAN that carries a mission to create international art performance in Indonesia and improve the quality of local talents. “It’s a nostalgic show where people of different ages could see it. Hairspray tells us about the sense of belonging, a dream, and diversity. It will be an inspiring show, and we are grateful to be able to produce the musical here,” Adefrid said. 

Venytha Yoshiantini, the lead actor who plays Tracy Turnblad, has appreciated the Indonesian creative minds who have the courage to produce the popular Broadway Musical that allows local talent to develop their skill and quality. “We want to prove to the audience that it’s possible to perform the international Broadway show here. I hope Indonesia’s theatre could be developed into a more established industry that could support homegrown talents,” said the young female actor who has a career in Singapore.

Laura Bell Bundy, Matthew Morrison and Marissa Jaret Winokur in original American Broadway Musical – Hairspray. Photo by Paul Kolnik/Playbill/NOW!JAKARTA

No stranger to acting in movies and TV shows, Morgan Oey feels challenged to play for the live theatre as it’s his first Broadway musical experience. Through the direction from the original Broadway talent Brandon Bieber, Lea Simanjuntak thinks that Indonesian actors could learn so much from the professional theatre to later develop the quality of the local industry. 

First time directing musical in Indonesia, Brandon Bieber also appreciates the natural talents comparing to the extensive training that American actors do on Broadway. “It’s good to see the talents here and share the knowledge. The show itself is universal as it tells the audience about love, struggle, unity and racial dialogue,” Bieber said.

For more information about the show, visit the Ciputra Artpreneur website on The ticket is also available on

Rintang Azhar

Rintang Azhar

Rintang is a previous staff writer for NOW! with experience in hard news and lifestyle journalism. He specialises in art, design, culture, fashion, environmental, and urban issues.