Janney, who was Tony-nominated for her performance in the 1998 revival of Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge, will play Prudy Pingleton in "Hairspray"; that role was created on Broadway by Jackie Hoffman, who also played a variety of other roles in the Tony-winning musical.
"Hairspray," under the direction of Adam Shankman, will star John Travolta as Edna Turnblad, Queen Latifah as Motormouth Maybelle, Christopher Walken as Wilbur Turnblad, Amanda Bynes as Penny Pingleton, Zac Efron as Link Larkin, Brittany Snow as Amber von Tussel, Michelle Pfeiffer as Velma von Tussel, James Marsden as Corny Collins, Elijah Kelly as Seaweed and Nikki Blonsky as Tracy Turnblad.
Filming for the motion picture is set to begin in September in Canada. Featuring a screenplay by Leslie Dixon, "Hairspray" — with a score by Marc Shaiman and Wittman — is expected to hit movie theatres around the country in summer 2007.
Hairspray, based on the 1988 John Waters film of the same name, currently plays the Neil Simon Theatre. The show won 2003 Tony Awards for Best Score (Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman), Best Book (Thomas Meehan and Mark O'Donnell), Best Actress in a Musical (Marissa Jaret Winokur), Best Actor (Harvey Fierstein), Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Dick Latessa), Best Costume Design (William Ivey Long), Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical.
Allison Janney has been seen on Broadway in Present Laughter and A View from the Bridge (Tony nomination). A four-time Emmy Award winner for her role as White House chief of staff C.J. Cregg on "The West Wing," Janney has also appeared in "Private Parts," "10 Things I Hate About You" and "Six Days, Seven Nights."
The actress has also just signed a deal with CBS-TV for a 2007 sitcom. Kelly Kulchak and Chris Henze will executive produce the series, according to Variety.