“Penny has been a dream role since Hairspray opened on Broadway. At 9, I was (and still am) in LOVE w @KerryButlerNyc. Hope to make you proud,” she wrote.
She added later, “Anyway... I’m so honoured and beyond excited to be a part of this dream cast...... I will for sure pass out at the table read.
#HairsprayLive.” She went on gushing, “I am now a checkerboard chick #HairsprayLive #Penny,” adding on Instagram, “I’ve never been more excited.” Penny is the slightly dorky best friend of central character Tracy Turnblad, who will be played by newcomer Maddie Baillio in the NBC musical event.
Kerry Butler originated the character in the 2002 Broadway play, with Leslie Ann Powers and Amanda Bynes taking on the role in the 1988 and 2007 films, respectively.
“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,” NBC ntertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said in a statement about the latest addition to the cast.
Grande also joins Martin Short, Harvey Fierstein, Derek Hough, Jennifer Hudson and Kristin Chenoweth in the cast.
Kenny Leon will direct ‘Hairspray Live!’ and Fierstein writes the teleplay. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron serve as executive producers. The live production will go on air
on December 7.