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Kristin Chenoweth Joins NBC’s ‘Hairspray Live’

Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth has joined the cast of NBC’s “Hairspray Live!” show, Variety has learned.

The Emmy and Tony Award winner will play Velma Von Tussle, the self-promoting and manipulative producer of “The Corny Collins Show,” who will stop at nothing to make her daughter, Amber, the star that Velma never was. Her biggest foe is Tracy Turnblad, and she’ll do everything in her power to prevent the integration of the “Corny Collins Show” which Tracy wants so much.

Chenoweth joins previously announced cast members Harvey Fierstein, Jennifer Hudson, Martin Short, Derek Hough and newcomer Maddie Baillio.

“We are so excited and fortunate that Kristin — one of the best musical performers in the world — wants to come and play with us on ‘Hairspray,’” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “Everything she does is incredible, going back to the iconic Glinda in ‘Wicked,’ and there’s no one better to play Velma Von Tussle. Each year we find that more and more of the top talent in our business wants to experience the once-in-a-lifetime thrill of these live musicals, and the bigger the roster of stars, the better the event. This one is shaping up to be one of our best!”

With “Hairspray Live!” Chenoweth reunites with NBC Live executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron for the fourth time. They previously collaborated on the TV movie musical “Annie” with Kathy Bates, the TV movie musical “The Music Man” with Matthew Broderick, and the Broadway revival “Promises, Promises” with Sean Hayes.

Alex Rudzinski and Kenny Leon will direct “Hairspray Live!”, with Zadan and Meron executive producing. Fierstein will also provide a new teleplay and Tony winner Jerry Mitchell will serve as choreographer for the live production with music and lyrics by Tony winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

Chenoweth is repped by ICM Partners, Schreck Rose, and manager Ed Micone.

“Hairspray Live!” will air Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. on NBC.

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