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‘Hairspray’ will be next NBC live musical

Hot on the heels of the hugely successful telescast of “The Wiz,” NBC today announced its next live television musical production will be “Hairspray,” according to a report on hollywoodreporter.com

The announcement came today during the Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will return as executive producers. The production is slated to air in December. Casting has not yet been announced.

According to USA Today, the deal has not yet been finalized, but everything points to a green light for the project.

“Hairspray” becomes the third such live musical production for NBC, which previously aired “Peter Pan” and “The Sound of Music.”

The Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, based on the the 1988 hit movie by John Waters (which starred Ricki Lake and Debbie Harry), features a book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, music by Marc Shaiman, and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman. (The movie was remade in 2007 and starred John Travolta, Zac Efron, Nikki Blonsky and Queen Latifah).

The musical tells the story of a young Baltimore teen’s devotion to an after-school music/dance TV show, who, through luck and a lot of hard work, wins a spot on the program. It ultimately changes her life and the lives of everyone in her town through music, understanding, believing in one’s self and acceptance of others.

Chicagoans can catch “Hairspray — The Broadway Musical” at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora where the musical begins its run on Jan. 20. The show, directed by Amber Mark stars E. Faye Butler, Amelia Jo Parish, TJ Crawford and Devin DeSantis, among others. Tickets (the show runs through Feb. 21) are available by phone at (630) 896-6666 or online at paramountaurora.com