Kristin Chenoweth will be taking on the role of Velma Von Tussle in NBC’s Hairspray Live! set to air on December 7, 2016 at 8pm ET/PT. Velma Von Tussle is described as “the self-promoting and manipulative producer of The Corny Collins Show, who will stop at nothing to make her daughter, Amber, the star that Velma never was. Her biggest foe is Tracy Turnblad and she’ll do everything in her power to prevent the integration of the Corny Collins Show which Tracy wants so much.”
The Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress joins a cast that includes Harvey Fierstein as Edna Turnblad, Jennifer Hudson as Motormouth Maybelle, Martin Short as Wilbur Turnblad, Derek Hough as Corny Collins, and Maddie Baillio as Tracy Turnblad.
“We are so excited and fortunate that Kristin — one of the best musical performers in the world — wants to come and play with us on Hairspray,” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “Everything she does is incredible, going back to the iconic Glinda in Wicked, and there’s no one better to play Velma Von Tussle. Each year we find that more and more of the top talent in our business wants to experience the once-in-a-lifetime thrill of these live musicals, and the bigger the roster of stars, the better the event. This one is shaping up to be one of our best!”
Hairspray Live! will be directed by Alex Rudzinski (Dancing with the Stars) and Kenny Leon (The Wiz Live!). Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are executive producing and Harvey Fierstein is working on the new teleplay. Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots) is the choreographer and Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman are providing the music and lyrics.
The Plot: In Hairspray Live!, 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, and she eventually encourages Tracy on her campaign to integrate the all-white Corny Collins Show.