NBC’s next foray into the world of live musicals is Hairspray Live!, which is pretty perfect, because for once all the camp that comes from doing a musical live on TV will actually feel in line with the spirit of the musical. The original Hairspray was directed by John Waters, after all. The cast already included Harvey Fierstein (who won a Tony for his role in the Broadway version), Martin Short, Jennifer Hudson, Kristen Chenoweth, and Maddie Baillio as the lead Tracy Turnblad. Now, another notable name has been added to the cast, and that’s Ariana Grande.
Grande, who has an inordinate amount of music and acting experience for somebody who is only 23, will be playing Penny Pingleton, Tracy’s best friend. In the movie version of the musical, Penny was played by Ariana’s fellow Nickelodeon alum Amanda Bynes. For her part, Grande is very excited for the role, tweeting “Penny has been a dream role since Hairspray opened on Broadway.”
“We’re absolutely thrilled to round out our all-star ‘Hairspray Live!’ cast with Ariana Grande, one of the biggest recording artists in the world,” said NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt, and he isn’t overselling Grande. Her involvement should help bring more eyes to the event. Of course, plenty of people were going to tune in anyways to make jokes about the whole thing, which has become standard operating procedure for these events. Sounds like Grande is going to really enjoy herself regardless.
(Via E! Online)