NBC’s next live musical production is on its way with “Hairspray Live!,” a take on the 2002 Broadway show. The network has assembled a stellar cast so far, including Kristin Chenoweth, Martin Short, Harvey Fierstein, Jennifer Hudson and Derek Hough.
The latest addition is pop star Ariana Grande in the role of Penny Pingleton. The singer made the announcement on Twitter with a quote from the character she’ll be playing, telling her followers “I am nowww (sic) a checkerboard chick.”
The musical version of “Hairspray” is based on a 1988 John Waters film. It tells the story of Tracy Turnblad, an overweight teen who dreams of dancing on a local TV dance show. Set in the tumultous world of Baltimore in the 1960s, it’s a story about segregation, integration and the power of music and dance to unite people from all walks of life.
The musical debuted in 2002 and went on to win eight Tony Awards.
NBC has had great success so far with its live musical offerings. They debuted the “Live!” program in 2013 with “The Sound of Music Live!” and followed that up with “Peter Pan Live!” in 2014 and “The Wiz Live!” in 2015. All three programs performed well in the ratings.
“Hairspray Live!” will hit the stage — and the small screen — on December 7 at 8 p.m.