This is the fourth collaboration between Chenoweth and producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. The team previously worked together on a television remake of Annie and The Music Man as well as the Broadway revival of Promises, Promises.
Chenoweth joins a cast that includes Harvey Fierstein, who will recreate his iconic Tony Award-winning Broadway role as Edna Turnblad, Martin Short (Maya and Marty) as Wilbur Turnblad, Derek Hough (slated to make his Broadway debut next season in Singin’ in the Rain) as TV host Corny Collins, Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson (The Color Purple, Dreamgirls) as Motormouth Maybelle and newcomer Maddie Baillio as Tracy Turnblad.
Live television director Alex Rudzinski (Grease Live!) will join director Kenny Leon (The Wiz Live!) to stage the broadcast. Zadan and Meron (the upcoming A Few Good Men Live!) serve as executive producers of Hairspray Live! 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 (Smash, Catch Me If You Can and Broadway’s upcoming Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). Bernard Telsey and Abbie Brady-Dalton of Telsey + Company oversaw the casting campaign.
“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 Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment in a statement. “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!”