Jennifer Hudson and Harvey Fierstein to Star in ‘Hairspray Live!’

Jennifer Hudson
Jennifer Hudson (Photo by Jon Pack/NBC)

NBC’s signed up Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls) and Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein (Torch Song Trilogy, Hairspray) to tackle leading roles in Hairspray Live!, a musical event set to air during the 2016 holiday season. According to NBC’s official announcement, Grammy-winner Hudson will be playing Motormouth Maybelle and Fierstein will be reprising his role as Edna Turnblad. Fierstein is also writing the adaptation and Alex Rudzinski and Kenny Leon are set to direct. Jerry Mitchell is the choreographer and Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are executive producing.

“We are beyond thrilled with this incredibly talented duo of stars for Hairspray Live!,” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “Harvey Fierstein created the role of Edna Turnblad on Broadway in an indelible Tony-winning performance that demanded to be memorialized on film, and we’re happy he wanted to step into her shoes one last, unforgettable time. We’re also so grateful that the incomparable Jennifer Hudson will play Motormouth Maybelle and we know her rendition of ‘I Know Where I’ve Been’ will literally stop the show.”

Hairspray Live! is set to air on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 at 8pm ET/PT.

The 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.