NBC has announced a few more castings this week for the network’s next live-musical broadcast. The network confirmed that Tony and Emmy Award-winner Martin Short and Emmy Award-winner Derek Hough will be featured in NBC’s “Hairspray Live!” when the live Broadway musical event airs later this year.
“We are very happy to have the inimitable Martin Short to play Edna’s loving husband, Wilbur,” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “We welcome Marty to the network in May in his new variety show with Maya Rudolph and we think he will be the perfect long-term companion to Harvey’s Edna. And hands-down the best dancer on television and one of the best in the entertainment business, Derek Hough, will be perfect in the role of Corny Collins, the cocky song-and-dance-man who hosts the TV show every teenager in Baltimore wants to be on.”
The live-event is based on on the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, “Hairspray Live!” takes place in 1962 Baltimore. Teenager Tracy Turnblad’s dream is to dance on “The Corny Collins Show,” a local TV program. When, against all odds, Tracy wins a role on the show, she becomes a celebrity overnight and meets a colorful array of characters, including the resident dreamboat, Link; the ambitious mean girl, Amber; an African-American boy she meets in detention, Seaweed; and his mother, Motormouth Maybelle, the owner of a local record store. Tracy’s mother is the indomitable Edna Turnblad, and she eventually encourages Tracy on her campaign to integrate the all-white “Corny Collins Show.”
Martin Short, a celebrated comedian and actor, has won fans and accolades in television, film and theater since his breakout season on “Saturday Night Live” more than 30 years ago.
His popularity and exposure on “SNL” led Short to cross over quickly into feature films. He made his debut in “Three Amigos” and followed with “Innerspace,” “Three Fugitives” and “Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks.” An accomplished stage actor, Short won a Tony, Theatre World Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award for his role in the revival of “Little Me.” He was also nominated for a Tony and took home an Outer Critics Circle Award for the musical version of Neil Simon’s “The Goodbye Girl.” Short co-wrote and starred in “Fame Becomes Me,” prompting The New York Times to describe Short as “a natural for live musicals, a limber singer and dancer who exudes a fiery energy that makes you want to reach for your sunglasses.” Short most recently appeared on Broadway in Terrence McNally’s “It’s Only a Play.”
A two-time primetime Emmy winner and multi-nominated for both primetime and daytime Emmys, Short returned to television in 1998 for the miniseries “Merlin” and host of “The Martin Short Show.” In 2001, he launched the popular comedy “Primetime Glick” and in 2010 received critical acclaim for his role in FX’s drama series “Damages.”
Two-time Emmy winner Derek Hough is portraying Corny Collins. Hough won a pair of Emmys for choreography for the ABC series “Dancing With the Stars.” He appeared on the show for 16 seasons and won six times with six different dance partners, including Brooke Burke, Jennifer Grey and Amber Riley.
Hough was featured in London’s West End in the 2006 original cast production of “Footloose.” He then made his Broadway debut in 2010 in the stage show “Burn the Floor” and was recently announced as the lead actor in a 2017 Broadway revival of “Singin’ in the Rain.” Hough also has a recurring role in the ABC drama “Nashville.”
Live television director Alex Rudzinski will join director Kenny Leon (“The Wiz Live!”). Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (the upcoming “A Few Good Men Live!”) serve as executive producers of “Hairspray Live!” Harvey Fierstein will provide a new teleplay and Jerry Mitchell (“Kinky Boots,” “On Your Feet”) will serve as choreographer for the live production with music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (“Smash” and Broadway’s upcoming “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”).
“Hairspray Live!” will air Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT and will originate from Los Angeles. “Hairspray Live!” is produced by Universal Television.