Hudson, who previously worked with executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron on the network’s “Smash,” will play Motormouth Maybelle, the owner of a local record store. Fierstein will play Edna Turnblad, the same role from the original stage musical for which he won a Tony Award.
“We are beyond thrilled with this incredibly talented duo of stars for ‘Hairspray Live!,'” NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said in a statement. “Harvey Fierstein created the role of Edna Turnblad on Broadway in an indelible Tony-winning performance that demanded to be memorialized on film, and we’re happy he wanted to step into her shoes one last, unforgettable time.
“We’re also so grateful that the incomparable Jennifer Hudson will play Motormouth Maybelle and we know her rendition of ‘I Know Where I’ve Been’ will literally stop the show,” he said.
The network’s follow-up live musical to last year’s “The Wiz Live!” will air Wednesday, December 7. Fierstein will write in addition to starring. Alex Rudzinski and Kenny Leon will direct. Jerry Mitchell will serve as choreographer, with music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
— NBC (@nbc) April 25, 2016