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NBC's HAIRSPRAY LIVE's Tracy Turnblad Revealed!


On this morning's TODAY it was announced that newcomer Maddie Baillio has been cast as teenager Tracy Turnblad in NBC's HAIRSPRAY LIVE. Harvey Fierstein, who will reprise his Tony Award-winning role as Edna Turnblad, introduced his fictional daughter and shared that he is currently working on the script which he says may be a little different than the film and stage version of the show. "Times have changed," he told TODAY's Matt Lauer, but added that the "basic message" of the story will remain the same.

Baillio, an accomplished singer and dancer from League City, Texas, with no professional theater experience, won the role at an enormous open casting call attended by nearly 1,000 hopefuls. A sophomore at Marymount Manhattan College, she recently starred as Dracula in "Dracula, the Musical" and Winnifred in "Once Upon a Mattress". Baillio was named 2014 Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador and in 2015 performed with Michael Feinstein to capacity audiences at venues such as the Kennedy Center, the Grand 1894 Opera House, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Birdland Jazz Club.

In "Hairspray Live!," 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, and she eventually encourages Tracy on her campaign to integrate the all-white "Corny Collins Show."

The "Hairspray Live!" casting notice sought someone with an "outgoing, unstoppable, good-hearted, vibrant, lovable, spirited personality." Below, watch as Baillio learns she has been cast in the iconic role!

NBC's HAIRSPRAY LIVE will air Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT and will originate from Los Angeles. In addition to Baillio, "Hairspray Live!" stars Harvey Fierstein, who will recreate his iconic Tony Award-winning role; Oscar, Golden Globe and SAG Award winner Jennifer Hudson; Tony and Emmy winner Martin Short; and Emmy winner Derek Hough.
Watch Maddie in action!

Acclaimed live television director Alex Rudzinski ("Dancing with the Stars") will join Tony-winning director Kenny Leon ("The Wiz Live!"). Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Oscar-winning "Chicago," "The Wiz Live!" and the upcoming "A Few Good Men Live!") serve as executive producers of "Hairspray Live!" Harvey Fierstein will also provide a new teleplay and Tony winner Jerry Mitchell ("Kinky Boots," "On Your Feet") will serve as choreographer for the live production with music and lyrics by Tony winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman ("Smash," the upcoming feature "Mary Poppins Returns" and the Broadway-bound "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory").

CLICK HERE to watch this morning's casting announcement

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