By Samantha Highfill
March 13, 2020 at 08:30 AM EDT
Katie Yu/The CW

Admittedly, it's a less obvious choice than Riverdale's two previous musical episodes, which tackled Carrie: The Musical and Heathers: The Musical. "We asked, 'What cult musical set in a high school haven't we done?'" says showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. "Grease is a high school musical. West Side Story is about high school students. But none of them felt right." Then Stephen Trask's name popped up. The composer — who wrote the music for Hedwig — offered to write music for the CW drama, but Aguirre-Sacasa took things one step further and decided to bring Hedwig to the series. "When you have a song called 'Wicked Little Town,' it's describing Riverdale," explains Aguirre-Sacasa.

Unlike the last two musical specials, Hedwig isn't a school production. Rather, the students perform numbers from the musical as party of a variety show. Specifically, when Mr. Honey (Kerr Smith) tells Kevin he can't put on Hedwig, the teen "rebels in a very, very glittery way," says Cott.

With Kevin in the title role (and accompanying fishnets), his classmates join him — some in heels and others in a new band. Yes, the Archies are coming to Riverdale! The iconic group from the comics features Archie (KJ Apa), Betty (Lili Reinhart), Jughead (Cole Sprouse), and Veronica (Camila Mendes); alongside special guest star Kevin, they perform "Midnight Radio" from Hedwig.

And, indeed, that means Jughead is singing. Sprouse's love for Hedwig was the final sign for the writers. Says Aguirre-Sacasa: "For Cole to be like, 'I want to sing,' it was like, 'We have to do this.'"

For now, EW has an exclusive first look at Riverdale's musical episode (above and below), which airs April 8 on the CW.

Katie Yu/The CW

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