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Celebrity Takeover

Jennifer Hudson Will Star in Hairspray Live on NBC!

Drew Shade

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The casting for the new #HairsprayLive is rolling out and the role we were most curious about was that of “Motormouth Maybelle. Well, we’ve gotten the word and the current Broadway star of The Color Purple, Jennifer Hudson will follow in the footsteps of Queen Latifah as the rhyming & jivin’ Motormouth set to air December 7th at 8pm.

We’re loving that Hudson is living the full dream in great musicals. From her Oscar-winning performance in “Dreamgirls”, to starring on Broadway as “Shug Avery”, and now this? We’re extremely happy to see what she does in the role. She is suited for television and what’s better than a televised musical for someone of her caliber? Nothing.

2016-Apr20-Hairspray-ResponsiveKA-1114x891-JW

She is joined by Harvey Fierstein who will reprise his Tony Award-winning role as “EdnaTurnblade”, he is also writing the teleplay, as he did for #TheWizLive.

Based on the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, “Hairspray Live!” takes place in 1962 Baltimore. Teenager Tracy Turnblad’s dream is to dance on “The Corny Collins Show,” a local TV program. When, against all odds, Tracy wins a role on the show, she becomes a celebrity overnight and meets a colorful array of characters, including the resident dreamboat, Link; the ambitious mean girl, Amber; an African-American boy she meets in detention, Seaweed; and his mother, Motormouth Maybelle, the owner of a local record store. Tracy’s mother is the indomitable Edna Turnblad, and she eventually encourages Tracy on her campaign to integrate the all-white “Corny Collins Show.”

Joining the creative team will be acclaimed television director Alex Rudzinski, who slayed the television direction of “Grease Live!” He will accompany and partner with stage director Kenny Leon. This is all getting very intersting.

“Hairspray Live!” reunites Hudson with executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who worked with her previously on NBC’s “Smash.”

Founder/Editor-In-Chief of BroadwayBlack.com | Actor | Artist | 1/3 of @OffBookPodcast | Theatre connoisseur | All Audra Everything | Caroline over Change | I'm Not Charl Brown | Norm Lewis is my play cousin | Producing an all-black production of Mame starring Jenifer Lewis in my head

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Kei

    April 26, 2016 at 1:05 AM

    So

  2. Avatar

    Kei

    April 26, 2016 at 1:24 AM

    So I just want to say, as HAPPY as I am for JHud getting this honor, I mean Motor Mouth is ICONIC, I’m still shocked that Hairspray is getting done. I mean I was hoping these “Live” shows were going to be more for shows that people have kinda forgotten. I mean when they did the “Sound of Music”, that was an OLD show (and Audra was the best part about it, let’s be honest) and then we had “The Wiz”, black magic that although was always in the back mind of many black theatre lovers or lovers of the movie, hadn’t been in the forefront for a while so again that makes sense. “Peter Pan” the “Live” version didn’t make much sense to me as far as the choices go BUT the show was done in it’s original film context and it was old. Grease was also a classic and iconic, never really forgotten but old enough that a “Live” version didn’t bug me. Even Fox coming out with Rocky Horror the cult classic, although there are many shadowcasts, the fact that they’re going to put it on TV to show the stage version (although more than likely edited because of the overtly sexual content-still don’t know how Fox is getting away with this one) . Hairspray just feels like…”so soon?” What’s next Les Miserables Live? Mama Mia Live? The Phantom of the opera Live? I think the “LIVE” shows should be more for theatre that’s got some dust on it (old) or didn’t get a lot of play…like The Scottsborro boys…I would love to see a LIVE like that on TV, because the run was so short and the show was so amazing and it would educate people! I’m happy though, I just feel like “wow, so soon?” I must admit though JHud in it has fascinated about it because the other actors/actresses will have to vocally keep up with her so the casting SHOULD be on point!

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    Marisol

    April 28, 2016 at 9:14 PM

    I’m just happy that Jennifer finally stopped wearing those ridiculous long straight white girl weaves. She looks so much better with her own hair.

  4. Pingback: The Best Protest Songs & Civil Rights Anthems On & Off-Broadway

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Box Office

Dave Chappelle Live On Broadway Grosses Over 1.4 Million Despite Blackout

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Dave Chappelle/Netflix. Photo by Mathieu Bitton
Dave Chappelle/Netflix. Photo by Lester Cohen

Dave Chappelle/Netflix. Photo by Lester Cohen

Comedian Dave Chappelle made his Broadway debut July 9th with Dave Chappelle Live on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.

Originally scheduled to close July 13th the residency was extended an additional week through July 20. Made possible by the In Residence on Broadway series which is a collaboration between Live Nation, The Araca Group, and Entertainment Benefits Group.

Saturday nights are the money makers on Broadway especially during the middle of July, in what we New Yorkers like to call tourist season. However, that all came crashing down when a power outage shut down most of the 41 Broadway houses this past Saturday. The blackout didn’t stop the show for most of those Broadway casts. They took to singing in the New York City streets, but the overall Broadway ticket sales took a 10% hit for the week.

Chappelle somehow came out unbothered by the blackout in his first week on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne. In just four nights on Broadway, the comedian raked in over 1.4 million, making him the 6th highest selling ticket of the week with an average ticket price of $243. He followed behind Hamilton at $2.67m  The Lion King at $2.39m, To Kill a Mockingbird at $1.7m, Wicked at $1.5m, and Moulin Rouge at 1.49m.

So, your Saturday night show is canceled, what do you do? Dave Chappelle does to impromptu sets at Gramercy Theatre and The Comedy Cellar.

 

 

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So there was a blackout on Broadway…. all roads lead to the #ComedyCellar.

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Celebrity Takeover

Cuba Gooding Jr. Returns to the Role of Billy Flynn in Chicago

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Cuba Gooding Jr. in a promotional photo as Billy Flynn.

Show me the money! Cuba Gooding Jr. (A Trip to Bountiful) returns to Broadway’s ‘Chicago.’

Cuba Gooding Jr. in a promotional photo as Billy Flynn.

Oscar Winner and Broadway alumni, Cuba Gooding Jr., has returned to Broadway. Cuba has returned to ‘Chicago’ through February 10th. After a previous Broadway and West End run in the show, Cuba is back playing Billy Flynn. Now taking on the role for the third time, Cuba is back and better than Ever.

“This is the first time I’ve sang professionally, period. This is my first musical” Cuba said, “The hardest thing I’ve ever done physically is singing and dancing, eight shows a week, six days a week.”

The Oscar winner returned to the Ambassador Theatre on January 7th to do a month-long run in the show. He’d previously spent six weeks in the role in October of 2018 and before that he’d opened the show’s west end revival. Cuba is the latest in the line of stars to join the Broadway company of Chicago. Cuba is joining the likes of Todrick Hall, Tony Yazbeck, Usher Raymond, and Wayne Brady as one of the few stars to play Billy Flynn on Broadway. Cuba is ready to bring the “razzle dazzle” to the Ambassador Theatre, eight shows a week, and we’re prepared to see him hit his mark and take the stage.

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