After the success of its continued live stage performances, NBC is bringing yet another Broadway classic to TV. The peacock network announced Wednesday that its next live stage adaptation will be the classic musical “Hairspray.”
The announcement was made by NBC network boss Robert Greenblatt at the 2016 Television Critics Association press tour. After “The Wiz” made a splash in 2015, earning more than 11 million viewers and practically overwhelming Twitter with notes about the show, the network chief was proud to announce more. According to Entertainment Weekly, “Hairspray” will drop on the network in December.
For those unfamiliar with “Hairspray,” it tells the story of a young, plus-sized high school student in 1960s Baltimore, Maryland, named Tracy Turnblad. She chases her dream of dancing with some of her more attractive peers on the local TV hit “The Corny Collins Show.” When that dream comes true, she uses her newfound celebrity to try and get the show racially integrated, meaning white dancers and black dancers would have equal footing. After a movie in 1988 and a subsequent theater opening in 2005, it became a major motion picture in 2007 with stars like John Travolta, Christopher Walken, Amanda Bynes, Queen Latifah and Zac Efron in the lead roles.
The announcement of the new show means NBC has a big casting job ahead of them. The time has come for fans to lobby for their favorite actors or actresses to star in particular roles. To help get the ball rolling, below are a few of our picks for dream casting roles in the upcoming live show:
Corny Collins (Jesse Spencer)
In the play, Corny Collins is a young, attractive and charismatic host with a heart of gold. He’s the one who champions for Tracy to join the show and eventually becomes invaluable in the quest to integrate it. Spencer has proven himself time and again as a dramatic actor on “House,” so it would be a bit of a pivot for him to go over to stage comedy, but given his current status as the star of NBC’s “Chicago Fire,” there’s no reason he couldn’t make the jump.
Edna Turnblad (Chrisopher Meloni)
Meloni worked for years on NBC’s ongoing hit “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.” After he left, he made a brief return to comedy with the recent Netflix original series “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp.” The actor has demonstrated an ability to play almost anything, be it drama or comedy, which would make him perfect for the role of Tracy’s mom, Edna, who is almost always played by a man in drag.
Penny Pingleton (Kether Donohue)
The “You’re The Worst” star is making her live stage show debut on “Grease Live” for Fox on Jan. 31. With a budding career in both TV and musicals, it would make sense for the star to pivot over to NBC for yet another live stage show. Given her plucky dynamic good looks, she’s got all the pieces in place to play Tracy’s intrepid and open-minded best friend, Penny.
Seaweed (Donald Glover)
Better known to his music fans as Childish Gambino, the comedian, actor and rapper left the network a few years ago after spending about four and a half seasons on “Community.” He’s got a career in music, has previously worked stage as a standup comic and has the same kind of fun-loving personality that makes the “Hairspray” character so charming and captivating.