Hairspray Live: Kristin Chenoweth cast as Velma Von Tussle
The star-studded cast of NBC’s Hairspray Live! is ballooning to the size of Tracy Turnblad’s bouffant, as the network announced Tuesday Kristin Chenoweth will take on the role of Velma Von Tussle in the upcoming musical.
Chenoweth, an Emmy and Tony winner, joins previously announced cast members Jennifer Hudson (Motormouth Maybelle), Harvey Fierstein (Edna Turnblad), Martin Short (Wilbur Turnblad), Derek Hough (Corny Collins) and newcomer Maddie Baillio, who will play the lead role of Tracy.
“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,” Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, said of Chenoweth’s casting via a press release. “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!”
Hairspray Live! joins NBC’s recent string of televised musical hits, including Peter Pan Live! and The Wiz Live! It is adapted from the 1988 John Waters film of the same name, which revolves around a “pleasantly plump” teenage girl who combats racial segregation along her quest to star on a local TV show in 1960s Baltimore. Hairspray later made its way to Broadway in 2002. A 2007 remake of the film, starring Nikki Blonsky, John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Queen Latifah, was nominated for three awards at the 65th Golden Globes.
Hairspray Live! airs Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.