The “Dangerous Woman” singer will join Harvey Fierstein, Jennifer Hudson, Martin Short, Derek Hough, and Kristin Chenoweth in NBC’s live performance of the iconic romantic comedy, which is based on the Tony-winning Broadway musical. Set in Baltimore in 1962, Hairspray follows Tracy Turnblad (Maddie Baillio) as she becomes an overnight sensation after earning a role on a popular television dance show.
As Tracy’s scene-stealing best friend, Penny, Grande has been cast to portray arguably the most comedic role in the ensemble.
“Penny has been a dream role since Hairspray opened on Broadway,” Grande said in a series of tweets. “At 9, I was (and still am) in LOVE w @KerryButlerNyc. Hope to make u proud. Anyway… I’m so honored and beyond excited to be a part of this dream cast…… I will for sure pass out at the table read. #HairsprayLive.”
Talk about a great reaction!
Kerry Butler, who originally portrayed Penny when the musical debuted on Broadway back in 2002, gave Grande her seal of approval on social media, tweeting that Ariana is “perfect” for the role of Penny. Butler even gave Grande’s old Nickelodeon series, Victorious, a shout out.
What do you think? Do you like the idea of Ariana Grande as Penny?
Hairspray Live! will air Wednesday, December 7 on NBC.