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Kristin Chenoweth in NBC’s Hairspray Live!

Kristin Chenoweth in NBC’s Hairspray Live!

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Broadway veteran and Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth is joining NBC’s latest production, Hairspray Live!, reports TheaterMania.com.

NBC has been producing live musicals, the latest of which, being “The Wiz Live.” In this next production, Hairspray Live! will be featuring talented cast and crew, including Wicked Alum Kristin Chenoweth who will be playing the vixen-y villain Velma Von Tussle.

Joining Chenoweth is the Original Broadway Hairspray’s Edna Turnblad, the veteran Harvey Fierstein. Newcomer Maddie Baillio will play the main role of Tracy Turnblad, the kind-hearted, a-bit-pudgy ingenue who dreams of nothing but to be a part of a TV dance show. Others in cast are Jennifer Hudson, who will be taking on the role of Motormouth Maybelle, and another acting veteran, Martin Short as Wilbur Turnblad. Derek Hough, who is following the footsteps of his sister Julianne Hough (Sandra in Grease Live!) also stars in the show, as Corny Collins.

Hairspray Live! is directed by The Wiz Live! director, Kenny Leon, together with Alex Rudzinski of Grease Live! The original choreographer from the Broadway production of Hairspray, Jerry Mitchell, will also join the project, together with the composer-lyricists Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman.

First previewed in 2002, Hairspray chronicles the story of Tracy Turnblad, the pleasantly plump teenager from 60s Baltimore determined to be a part of the TV dance show “The Corny Collins Show.” What follows is a lighthearted story peppered with brilliantly-timed comedic wisecracks, which under the surface examines the society as it was during when racism and other forms of prejudice were rampant, and challenges the norms dictated by the same society that has the proclivity to exclusivity.

Hairspray has been previously adapted into a movie starring John Travolta, Christopher Walken, Zac Efron, Nikki Blonsky, Brittany Snow, and Michelle Pfeiffer, who played the role Chenoweth will be taking on in the TV special. The same producers of the movie, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will be doing the same for the live TV edition.

Hairspray Live! is set to be aired on December 7.


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A true lover of the performing arts, literature, & life. Dreams of becoming a poet. In real life, she helps combat diseases of the mind, body & the linguistic kind.

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