Jennifer Hudson will star in NBC ‘s live Broadway musical Hairpsray Live! alongside Harvey Fierstein.

Hudson will play Motormouth Maybelle in the TV special, the character portrayed by Queen Latifah in the 2007 film.  Fierstein, will be returning as Edna, a role he created and won a Tony Award for in the stage version of the production.  Fierstein is also adapting the script for the live event.

Based on the Tony-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.”

Hudson is currently wrapping up a run in the acclaimed Broadway revival of The Color Purple. She won the world over in 2007 with her Academy Award-winning performance as Effie White in the film adaptation of the play Dreamgirls, and went on to star in The Secret Life of Bees, Sex and The City, Think Like A Man, and Lullaby.  Most recently, she appeared on the hit Fox series Empire, and is currently in negations to play the legendary Aretha Franklin in the Aretha Franklin biopic.

Hairspray Live will be NBC’s fourth consecutive live musical, following The Sound of Music, Peter Pan and The Wiz.

Alex Rudzinski (Dancing With The Stars, Grease Live) is set to direct the musical, and Universal Television will produce.  Craig Zadan and Neil Meron serve as executive producers. Jerry Mitchell will serve as choreographer with music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.  Kenny Leon is stage director.

Hairspray Live will be filmed in Los Angeles and will air Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.



About The Author

Founder, HBR Media

K. Nicole Mills is the Founder of HBR Media. She transitioned from Wall Street to television and film development, and has worked at NBCUniversal, Universal Pictures, and Showtime Networks. She currently develops digital programming for premium networks. Reach out anytime!

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