Most people hadn’t heard of Maddie Baillio before Tuesday, but her name is going to become very familiar among musical theater fans. The actress was just cast as Tracy Turnblad in NBC’s “Hairspray Live!” She beat out over 1,000 other girls who wanted to play the upbeat teenager. Her character, Tracy, is famous for her love of music and equality, but now it’s time to get to know Baillio. Check out a few fun facts about the newcomer:
Texan — She didn’t wake up singing “Good Morning, Baltimore.” Baillio is from League City, Texas, but Broadway has been calling her name for a long time. She decided to go to college in New York.
Theater Student — While other college sophomores were studying for finals, Baillio was auditioning for “Hairspray Live!” The 20-year-old just finished her second year at Marymount Manhattan College, a school with talented alums like Laverne Cox, Alexander Skarsgård and Melissa Rauch.
Listen To Her — It might be a while before fans can buy the new “Hairspray Live!” soundtrack, but people can see what Baillio’s voice will sound like. She has a jazz song available on iTunes (under the name Madelyn Baillio) called “Can’t Stay Away From You.” Check out her singing at the Birdland Jazz Club below:
Major Stages — Though “Hairspray Live!” is her first major TV or theater gig, Baillio is no stranger to the stage. After being named Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador in 2014, she performed with Michael Feinstein at Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.
Twitter Newbie — The actress isn’t just new to TV. She just started a Twitter account Tuesday, the day she was announced as Tracy Turnblad.
— Maddie (@MaddieBaillio) June 7, 2016
She Loves Her Mom — Baillio might have a little in common with Tracy. In a video from the “Today” show, the actress is shown hearing for the first time that she won the leading role. Her first instinct is to call her mother. Watch her deliver the news on the “Today” website.
“Hairspray Live!” will be broadcast Dec. 7 on NBC. The cast will also include Harvey Fierstein as Edna Turnblad, Martin Short as Wilbur Turnblad, Derek Hough as Corny Collins and Jennifer Hudson as Motormouth Maybelle.