Good morning, Martin Short and Derek Hough! The comedian and Dancing with the Stars alum have joined Jennifer Hudson and Harvey Fierstein as stars of NBC’s Hairspray Live!, the network announced Wednesday.
Short is set to play Wilbur Turnblad, husband of Edna Turnblad (Fierstein) and father of Tracy Turnblad, a “pleasantly plump” teenager who, in 1962, combats racial segregation on her quest to become a dancer on a local TV show. The role of Wilbur’s wife, Edna, has traditionally been played by a man, as both Divine and John Travolta played the part in the 1988 and 2007 film versions of Hairspray, respectively. Two-time Emmy winner Hough joins the cast as Corny Collins, host of the variety show on which Tracy wants to dance.
Hairspray Live! follows in the recent NBC tradition of adapting popular works like The Sound of Music and Peter Pan for live, one-off TV productions. Their version of John Waters’ 1988 musical film Hairspray will star Hudson as Motormouth Maybelle, a character both Ruth Brown and Queen Latifah have played in the past.
Grease: Live! director Alex Rudzinski will co-helm Hairspray Live! with Kenny Leon, who previously directed The Wiz Live! for NBC. Fierstein wrote the teleplay for the production, and Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, On Your Feet!) will choreograph to songs and lyrics by Tony winner Marc Shaiman and Broadway director Scott Wittman.
Hairspray Live! airs Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.