Ariana Grande Joins 'Hairspray Live!', Lands Her Dream Role

The 'Scream Queens' star will play Penny Pingleton, the slightly dorky friend of central character Tracy Turnblad, in NBC's production.

AceShowbiz - Ariana Grande has joined the cast of "Hairspray Live!". She landed her dream role, Penny Pingleton, and took to Twitter to share her excitement about her new acting gig. "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 u proud," she wrote on Thursday, July 7.

She added later, "anyway... I'm so honored 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 NOWWW A CHECKERBOARD CHICK #HairsprayLive #Penny," adding on Instagram, "I've never been more excited."

I've never been more excited. #HairsprayLive #Penny Dec 7th @nbc

Foto kiriman Ariana Grande (@arianagrande) pada

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 Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said in a statement about the latest addition to the cast.

He added, "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."

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 be filmed in Los Angeles and air Wednesday, December 7 at 8 P.M. ET.

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