Who Should NBC's 'Hairspray' Live Musical Cast? We Have A Few Solid Suggestions
Self-professed theater geeks, rejoice: you don't have to shell out major cash to see some of your favorite stage productions performed live. NBC is now bringing musical theater to the small screen, and while it may not be exactly the same as heading to the Great White Way, these performances should hold you over until you can see a Broadway performance in the flesh. NBC's foray into musicals started with 2013's Carrie Underwood-starring The Sound Of Music, which was hugely successful in ratings. From there NBC went on to produce live stage musicals of Peter Pan and The Wiz — but their newest idea might be their best yet. According to Entertainment Weekly, NBC will air a live stage musical of Hairspray this December, and no, you cannot stop the beat.
Hairspray tells the story of Tracy Turnblad, a Baltimore teen who dreams of dancing on The Corny Collins Show. When she realizes that the show is deeply racially segregated, she decides to fight (and dance) for justice with the help of the other dancers. The most recent Hairspray screen adaptation came in the form of a 2007 feature film, which starred Nikki Blonsky, Amanda Bynes, John Travolta, and Zac Efron. Since seven years have passed since the film hit theaters (and the young cast has moved on from playing high school roles) NBC is likely looking beyond the movie adaptation for some fresh faces — and I have some ideas. Here are just a few actors who would kill it in the new NBC musical:
Melissa Benoist As... Penny Lou Pingleton
Supergirl star Benoist has the pipes to play Tracy's awkward-yet-lovable BFF, and she already has "outsider" experience from her time playing Marley on Glee.
Becca Tobin As... Amber Von Tussle
The blonde cut her claws playing mean girl Kitty on Glee (she was quite the excellent frenemy to Benoist's Marley). She could easily follow in Brittany Snow's footsteps as the dancer threatened by Tracy's sudden popularity.
Meghan Trainor As... Tracy Turnblad
The pop star who taught us all to embrace are curves would be perfect for the body-positive role of Tracy. Her confidence is catching (just check out her music videos!) and she's already a fan of vintage threads. She'd be a natural fit for a 1962 rule breaker.
Laverne Cox As... "Motormouth" Maybelle
Truth be told, I would cast Cox in everything if I could. She's a particularly excellent fit for this musical, as Maybelle requires a degree of sass and spice that few others can emulate.
Catherine Zeta-Jones As... Velma Von Tussle
Obviously, Zeta-Jones already rocked the part of one "Velma" — she starred as murderess Velma Kelly in the big screen adaptation of Chicago in 2002. A blonde wig is all this actress would need to slay the part of Amber's selfish showmom.
Aaron Tveit As... Corny Collins
The Broadway darling turned Graceland star would be the perfect catch for the perpetually smiling, delightfully charming dance show host.
Billy Crystal As... Wilbur Turnblad
Crystal was reportedly on the shortlist for the part of Tracy's nerdy dad for the 2007 film, but was eventually beaten out by Christopher Walken. Though he didn't have a chance to play the character in the movie, Crystal could nail the role in a stage adaptation.
Tristan Wilds As... Seaweed J. Stubbs
The triple threat made viewers fall in love with aspiring musician Dixon on 90210. He might be just the guy to play the awkward Penny's far "cooler" love interest.
John Travolta As... Edna Turnblad
Travolta played Tracy's mother in the 2007 movie, and is so far the only person from the movie that the producers of the new musical have said they wanted back. Robert Greenblatt said, according to EW , that while he didn't want to replicate the movie's casting, he wasn't opposed to the return of the Pulp Fiction actor: "We’d take John Travolta. He did it. I don’t think that would be a possibility, but we’d be thrilled to have John Travolta.” Well, I guess he did have seven years to perfect the role.
Harry Styles As... Link Larkin
I mean... this is dream casting, right?!
Here's hoping that the new Hairspray musical will get us all on our feet... even if we're in within a few inches of our couch.
Image: New Line Cinema