Look out Baltimore — the new girl is back in town!
Tracy Turnblad will dance her way back into the hearts of America Wednesday night in NBC’s all-star performance of "Hairspray Live!"
Based on the hit film and Broadway musical, Hairspray tells the story of Tracy, a bubbly teenager in 1960s Baltimore, who dreams of dancing on "The Corny Collins Show" (think American Bandstand).
When she defies the odds to win a spot on the segregated dance show, Tracy and her friends lead a campaign to integrate program.
The musical will feature an all-star cast including Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Martin Short, Derek Hough, and Broadway legends Harvey Fierstein and Kristin Chenoweth. But it’s newcomer and star Maddie Baillio who promises to steal the show.
Baillio’s journey to the big screen echoes Tracy’s journey to the stage. She danced her way into the role of a lifetime after beating out a thousand other actresses in a casting call. Baillio said Wednesday’s performance is a chance to work with her idols.
“Every day I wake up and I can’t believe that I’m actually here,” she said.
But at its heart, Hairspray is a story about desegregation, civil rights and the power of music and dance to unite a nation. Comedian Martin Short said he hopes Hairspray’s message resonates in today's divided America.
“I think that understanding that we are all different, and that’s what makes us brilliant as a race, as a country,” Short said. Chenoweth agreed.
"I hope people remember, too, that the arts has the power to change lives, and that's really what the message is right here," she said.
Hairspray Live! will premiere Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.