Newcomer Nabs Tracy Turnblad Role in ‘Hairspray Live!’

Maddie Baillio in Hairspray
Maddie Baillio as Tracy Turnblad in ‘Hairspray Live!’ (Photo by Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

NBC’s Hairspray Live! has found its Tracy Turnblad. Newcomer Maddie Baillio, a sophomore at Marymount Manhattan College, has landed the role of Tracy in the live musical event airing on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 at 8pm ET/PT. Baillio joins a cast that includes Harvey Fierstein reprising his Tony Award-winning role as Edna Turnblad. Jennifer Hudson will play Motormouth Maybelle, Derek Hough is Corny Collins, and Martin Short is confirmed to play Edna Turnblad’s husband, Wilbur.

According to NBC’s official casting announcement, Baillio is a singer and dancer from League City, Texas. She starred in Dracula, the Musical as Dracula and played Winnifred in Once Upon a Mattress while part of the York Theatre Company’s musical theatre training program, and she was named 2014 Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador. Baillio earned the role of Tracy Turnblad over 1,000+ other hopefuls who showed up for the casting call in New York City.

The Wiz Live‘s Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are executive producing. Kenny Leon is set to direct and Harvey Fierstein is writing new material for the television event. Jerry Mitchell is the choreographer, with songwriting by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

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.”