TV News

Harvey Fierstein and Jennifer Hudson to Headline NBC's Hairspray Live!

Fierstein returns to the musical that won him a Tony Award.

Harvey Fierstein will return to the role of Edna Turnblad for NBC's Hairspray Live!
Harvey Fierstein will return to the role of Edna Turnblad for NBC's Hairspray Live!
(© Paul Kolnik)

Tony winner Harvey Fierstein and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson will head the cast of NBC's Hairspray Live!, set to air December 7 at 8pm.

Fierstein, who will pen the screenplay for the broadcast, will return to the role of Edna Turnblad, which he originated on Broadway. Hudson, who currently stars on Broadway in The Color Purple, will take on the role of Motormouth Maybelle. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who produced the 2007 movie-musical version of Hairspray, will produce the live television edition. The Wiz Live! director Kenny Leon will take the helm for Hairspray, with Alex Rudzinski (Grease Live) directing for television. Jerry Mitchell will repeat his duties from the Broadway mounting as choreographer. Original Hairspray composer-lyricists Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman are also on the team for the live work.

Hairspray features a Tony-winning score by Shaiman and Wittman and a Tony-winning book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan. Based on the film by John Waters, it tells the story of Tracy Turnblad, an overweight Baltimore teen with dreams of landing a spot on a TV dance show and bringing racial integration with her.

The Tony-winning Best Musical premiered on Broadway in 2002 at the Neil Simon Theatre, where it starred Fierstein, Marissa Jaret Winokur, and Dick Latessa. The trio received Tony Awards for their performances. The film version starred John Travolta and Nikki Blonsky.