Emmy and Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth has come aboard NBC’s Hairspray Live!, which will air Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, joining the previously announced all-star cast of Harvey Fierstein, Jennifer Hudson, Martin Short, Derek Hough and newcomer Maddie Baillio.
Chenoweth 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 won the Tony as Best Featured Actress in a Musical for the role of Sally in the 1999 production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. She was Tony nominated in 2004 for the role of Glinda the Good Witch in Wicked. She was also Tony nominated in 2015 for the dual roles of Lily Garland/Mildred Plotka in the musical On the Twentieth Century.
As a television actress, Chenoweth won an Emmy in 2009 as Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in Pushing Daisies. A year earlier she earned her first-ever Emmy nomination for Pushing Daisies and in 2010-11 was twice nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for Glee. Other TV roles include The West Wing, Ugly Betty and Hot in Cleveland.
“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!”
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).