Kristin Chenoweth Joins 'Hairspray Live!' Cast On NBC & She Was Born To Play This Role
NBC has found their Miss Baltimore Crabs! Following the success of The Wiz Live! in December 2015, the network is gearing up for their latest live musical presentation, Hairspray Live! , and stacking their star-studded cast. And now, even following the spectacular castings of Jennifer Hudson, Harvey Fierstein, and newcomer Maddie Baillio as Tracy Turnblad, their latest casting announcement is totally one of the most exciting to date. Why? Because Kristin Chenoweth has been cast as Velma Von Tussle. And, let's face it. She was basically born to play this role.
Velma Von Tussle — the producer of the Corny Collins Show, mother of Amber Von Tussle (who has not yet been cast), and former Miss Baltimore Crabs — is essentially the villain of the 1960s-based musical. However, it's her fashionable style, pageant queen past, and her lovable song-and-dance numbers for songs including "(The Legend Of) Miss Baltimore Crabs" and "Big, Blond and Beautiful" that make Kristin the perfect fit for the role. In fact, I'm pretty sure I don't even need to see Kristin perform to know that she's going to be amazing. But, when looking back at who else has appeared in this role in the past, she's got some pretty big shoes to fill! After all — actress Michelle Pfeiffer took on the role of Velma Von Tussle in the 2007 movie version of the musical, and Debbie Harry's portrayed her in the 1988 version. But, I still think it's safe to say that Chenoweth can handle this one all on her own. Here's an example of the role, as displayed by Pfieffer:
And NBC Entertainment chairman, Robert Greenblatt, couldn't seem to agree more. “Everything she does is incredible, going back to the iconic Glinda in Wicked,” Greenblatt revealed in a statement about the casting. “We are so excited and fortunate that [Chenoweth] wants to come and play with us on Hairspray.”
Hairspray Live! is set to air on NBC December 7, 2016.