The Broadway vet will star as Velma Von Tussle, the self-promoting and manipulative producer of “The Corny Collins Show.” In the musical, Velma “will stop at nothing to make her daughter, Amber, the star that Velma never was. Her biggest foe is Tracy Turnblad (Baillio) and she’ll do everything in her power to prevent the integration of the “Corny Collins Show” which Tracy wants so much.
“Hairspray Live,” the latest in NBC’s annual musical events, airs Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 8/7c.
“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 NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “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.”
Chenoweth won the Tony as Best Featured Actress in a Musical for the role of Sally in the 1999 production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” In TV, Chenoweth won an Emmy in 2009 as Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in “Pushing Daisies.” Other TV roles include “The West Wing,” “Glee,” “Ugly Betty” and “Hot in Cleveland.”
It’s also a reunion for Chenoweth and “Hairspray Live” executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. They worked together on the TV movie musical “Annie” with Kathy Bates, the TV movie musical “The Music Man” with Matthew Broderick and the Broadway revival “Promises, Promises” with Sean Hayes.
Fierstein is behind the new teleplay, while live television director Alex Rudzinski (“Dancing with the Stars”) will direct with Kenny Leon (“The Wiz Live!”). Zadan and Meron executive producer. Jerry Mitchell is choreographer; music and lyrics by Tony winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.