For the TODAY show this morning, the announcement came out that Maddie Baillio had been casted as teenager Tracy Turnblad in NBC’s Hairspray Live!.
Baillio, an accomplished singer and dancer from League City, Texas, with no professional theater experience, won the role at an enormous open casting call attended by nearly 1,000 other auditioners. A sophomore at Marymount Manhattan College, she recently starred as Dracula in “Dracula, the Musical” and Winnifred in “Once Upon a Mattress”. Baillio was named 2014 Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador and in 2015 performed with Michael Feinstein to capacity audiences at venues such as the Kennedy Center, the Grand 1894 Opera House, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Birdland Jazz Club
NBC’s Hairspray Live! will air Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT and will originate from Los Angeles. In addition to Baillio, “Hairspray Live!” stars Harvey Fierstein, who will recreate his iconic Tony Award-winning role; Oscar, Golden Globe and SAG Award winner Jennifer Hudson; Tony and Emmy winner Martin Short; and Emmy winner Derek Hough.3
Acclaimed live television director Alex Rudzinski (“Dancing with the Stars”) will join Tony-winning director Kenny Leon (“The Wiz Live!”). Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Oscar-winning “Chicago,” “The Wiz Live!” and the upcoming “A Few Good Men Live!”) serve as executive producers of “Hairspray Live!” Harvey Fierstein will also provide a new teleplay and Tony winner Jerry Mitchell (“Kinky Boots,” “On Your Feet”) will serve as choreographer for the live production with music and lyrics by Tony winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (“Smash,” the upcoming feature “Mary Poppins Returns” and the Broadway-bound “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”).