A young dancer chases her dreams, premieres on NBC on Wednesday, December 7th 2016 at 8pm ET / 5pm PT
By Gabrielle Pantera
HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Daily Star) 2016/12/7 – “I thought that was my final, my final callback maybe, or maybe I had more auditions to go,” says Hairspray Live! star Maddie Baillio. “I had no idea. And so they had, like, a little interview set up, and they told me that they were doing a behind the scenes thing for the other Tracy hopefuls, how it all came together. And I was doing that, and Kenny walked into the room and said, ‘Hey, Harvey asked me to give this to you so you can read it. Project and look into the camera.’ And so I pulled the paper out, and it said, ‘Maddie Baillio will be Tracy Turnblad in NBC’s Hairspray Live!’ And I was so excited, and I had to call my mom immediately.”
In Hairspray Live! Maddie Baillio is Tracy Turnblad a plump teenager who dreams of dancing on a popular local TV program, The Corny Collins Show. After entering a dance contest she wins bringing her in the sphere of the popular kids Link the boy she’s got a bit of a crush on, Amber the resident mean pretty girl, Seaweed the African-American boy she meets in detention and his mother Motormouth Maybelle, who owns the local record store.
Harvey Fierstein is Edna Turnblad, Tracy’s mother and her voice of encouragement through Tracy’s journey to bring integration to The Corny Collins Show.
Based on the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, Hairspray NBC’s version will be live on the backlot of Universal Studios. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are producers of all of NBC’s live musicals and the upcoming A Few Good Men Live! serve as executive producers of Hairspray Live! Live television director Alex Rudzinski will join director Kenny Leon (The Wiz Live!) for Hairspray Live! Harvey Fierstein will provide a new teleplay and Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, On Your Feet) will serve as choreographer for the live production with music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman
“I’m hugely excited to be able to use the Universal backlot as a space,” says Hairspray Live! TV director Alex Rudzinski. “In fact, what I can tell you is that Hairspray’s going to be using a much bigger area of the backlot than we ever did on Grease, so it’s very ambitious in terms of what we’re doing, but I think that’s a reflection on the excitement of the narrative and the story of Hairspray brings us and what a fantastic cast we have in order to be able to use that space and use the dynamics of really being in and out of the backlot on this fantastically huge street that we’re recreating suburban Baltimore on, and I think that’s going to be just an energy of scale that’s really going to make the show immersive for the viewers and make it really fun to watch.”
Hairspray Live! Stars Maddie Baillio (Tracy Turnblad), Harvey Fierstein (Edna Turnblad) , Jennifer Hudson (Motormouth Maybelle), Ariana Grande (Penny Pingleton), Kristin Chenoweth (Velma Von Tussle), Martin Short (Wilbur Turnblad), Derek Hough (Corny Collins). Produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Directed by Alex Rudzinski and Kenny Leon. Written by Harvey Fierstein. Choreographed by Jerry Mitchell. Lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.