‘Hairspray’ Announced As NBC’s Next Live Musical

This coming December, TV viewers will be heading to 1960s Baltimore for NBC’s latest live musical, with the network announcing plans to mount a live production of Hairspray.

I’m happy to say that we are hopefully going to be produce a live new movie of Hairspray next December,” NBC chief Robert Greenblatt told journalists this morning at the TV Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, California.

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The musical, like past productions of The Sound of MusicPeter Pan and last month’s The Wiz, will be produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.

The original non-musical Hairspray, from cult director John Waters, first hit theatres in 1988, with Ricki Lake in the title role of plucky, dance-loving teen Tracy Turnblad. The film then spawned a Broadway musical in 2002, which in turn was remade as a big-screen musical in 2007, featuring John Travolta and Michelle Pfeiffer.

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While casting for the live musical has yet to take place, Greenblatt revealed he does have some “dream casting”; in mind. “I don’t think we’re going to try to replicate the movie. We want to do a new version of it,”; he told reporters.

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And while the intent isn’t to cast stars from the movie, Greenblatt said he wouldn’t say no if John Travolta wanted to reprise his cross-dressing role as Tracy’s mom. “Sure, we’d take John Travolta,”; said Greenblatt, adding, “I don’t think that would be a possibility, but we’d be thrilled to have John Travolta.”

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