Hairspray Live!, NBC’s newest holiday live musical production, was given its first teaser trailer today showing a glimpse of the major stars appearing in the special coming in December. Following in the footsteps of previous “Live” productions of The Sound of Music, Peter Pan and The Wiz, Hairspray boasts of an all-star cast and one very special “no name” actress.
“In keeping with our desire to bring the best of Broadway to our live musicals, we’ve assembled the Broadway dream team of Tony Award winners for Hairspray Live!,” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “We’re thrilled to have director Kenny Leon, who knocked The Wiz Live! way out of the park, and Jerry Mitchell, the original choreographer of Hairspray, who is the director of two smash hit musicals running on Broadway right now.”
Newcomer Maddie Baillio has been cast in the lead role of teenager Tracy Turnblad beating out almost 1,000 other hopefuls. Baillio, a sophomore at Marymount Manhattan College, comes to Hairspray Live! with no professional theater background. She did star in school productions of Dracula, the Musical and Once Upon a Mattress. According to NBC, Baillio was named 2014 Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador and performed with Michael Feinstein at the Kennedy Center, the Grand 1894 Opera House, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Birdland Jazz Club in 2015.
Maddie’s real life story mirrors the role of Tracy in Hairspray Live! as her character dreams of making the cut to appear on Baltimore’s own local dance program, “The Corny Collins Show” and does.
Playing the role Edna Turnblad, Tracy’s mother, is Harvey Fierstein, who won a Tony award for playing the role on Broadway. Edna is married to Wilbur, played by Martin short. Tracy’s best friend, Penny Pingleton, will be played by Ariana Grande.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to round out our all-star Hairspray Live! cast with Ariana Grande, one of the biggest recording artists in the world,” said Greenblatt. “She’s also a Broadway baby at heart, having debuted on Broadway when she was 15, and will be fantastic in the delightful role of Penny Pingleton. We look forward to her millions of fans seeing yet another side to this multifaceted performer and we welcome her to this incredible ensemble of artists.”
It was just announced this week that two-time Emmy and Tony Award winner, Andrea Martin will be playing the role of Penny’s overprotective and close-minded mother, Prudy. Martin is also scheduled to appear in the mid-season sitcom Great News next year. Martin is joined by Sean Hayes (playing the owner of Mr. Pinky’s Hefty Hideway), Rosie O’Donnell (playing the health education teacher), Jennifer Hudson (Motormouth Mable, owner of a local record store), Derek Hough (Corny Collins) and Kristen Chenoweth (playing the role of Velma Von Tussle, the self-promoting producer of “The Corny Collins Show.”)
— Playbill (@playbill) August 20, 2016
“We are so excited and fortunate that Kristin — one of the best musical performers in the world — wants to come and play with us on ‘Hairspray,'” said Greenblatt. “Everything she does is incredible, going back to the iconic Glinda in ‘Wicked,’ and there’s no one better to play Velma Von Tussle. Each year we find that more and more of the top talent in our business wants to experience the once-in-a-lifetime thrill of these live musicals, and the bigger the roster of stars, the better the event. This one is shaping up to be one of our best!”
RELATED TV REPORTS FROM INQUISITR:
CBS Reveals Colorful Cast For ‘Survivor’ Season 33
William Shatner And Henry Winkler Travel Through Asia in NBC’s ‘Better Late Than Never’
Steve Harvey To Host ‘Funderdome,’ ABC Taking Applications Now
Rounding out the rest of the cast of Hairspray Live! includes Dove Cameron (Amber Von Tussle) and Garrett Clayton (Link Larkin).
Executive produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, Hairspray Live! will air on Wednesday, December 7, on NBC.
[Photos courtesy of NBC]