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‘Hairspray Live!’ Casts Ariana Grande as Penny Pingleton

Live musical event will air on NBC on Dec. 7

Ariana Grande has been cast in NBC’s upcoming “Hairspray Live” as Penny Pingleton, TheWrap has learned.

Pingleton is the best friend of protagonist Tracy Turnblad (Maddie Baillio), the girl who wants nothing more than to dance on the “Corny Collins Show.”

Grande is a Grammy nominee known for hit songs like “Into You,” “Problem” and “Dangerous Woman.” She has also appeared in the Fox series “Scream Queens” and in the 2008 Broadway production “13.”

“We’re absolutely thrilled to round out our all-star ‘Hairspray Live!’ cast with Ariana Grande, one of the biggest recording artists in the world,” said Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment.

“She’s also a Broadway baby at heart, having debuted on Broadway when she was 15, and will be fantastic in the delightful role of Penny Pingleton. We look forward to her millions of fans seeing yet another side to this multifaceted performer and we welcome her to this incredible ensemble of artists.”

“Hairspray Live!” also stars Harvey Fierstein, who will re-create his iconic Tony Award-winning role as Edna; Oscar, Golden Globe and SAG Award winner Jennifer Hudson as Maybelle; Emmy and Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth as Velma Von Tussle; Tony and Emmy winner Martin Short as Tracy’s father Wilbur; and Emmy winner Derek Hough as Collins.

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron serve as executive producers. Fierstein will also provide a new teleplay and Tony winner Jerry Mitchell will serve as choreographer for the live production with music and lyrics by Tony winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

“Hairspray Live!” will air Dec. 7 at 8/7c on NBC.