Hairspray Live! has added Emmy winners Derek Hough and Martin Short to the cast, joining previously announced stars Jennifer Hudson and Harvey Fierstein. Hough is set to play Corny Collins and Short will take on the role of Edna Turnblad’s husband, Wilbur. Alex Rudzinski and Kenny Leon (The Wiz Live!) are on board as directors for the live musical event and Neil Meron and Craig Zadan are involved as executive producers.
In addition to reprising his Tony Award-winning role as Edna Turnblad, Fierstein will be working on the new teleplay. Kinky Boots‘ Jerry Mitchell is confirmed as the choreographer for the show which will feature music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Smash). NBC will air Hairspray Live! on December 7, 2016 at 8pm ET/PT.
“We are very happy to have the inimitable Martin Short to play Edna’s loving husband, Wilbur,” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “We welcome Marty to the network in May in his new variety show with Maya Rudolph and we think he will be the perfect long-term companion to Harvey’s Edna. And hands-down the best dancer on television and one of the best in the entertainment business, Derek Hough, will be perfect in the role of Corny Collins, the cocky song-and-dance-man who hosts the TV show every teenager in Baltimore wants to be on.”
The Hairspray Live! Plot: Based on the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, Hairspray Live! takes place in 1962 Baltimore. Teenager Tracy Turnblad’s dream is to dance on “The Corny Collins Show,” a local TV program. When, against all odds, Tracy wins a role on the show, she becomes a celebrity overnight and meets a colorful array of characters, including the resident dreamboat, Link; the ambitious mean girl, Amber; an African-American boy she meets in detention, Seaweed; and his mother, Motormouth Maybelle, the owner of a local record store. Tracy’s mother is the indomitable Edna Turnblad, and she eventually encourages Tracy on her campaign to integrate the all-white “Corny Collins Show.”