Grande revealed the news herself on Twitter, telling fans that she'd just been cast as Penny Pingleton, the wide-eyed, pigtail-sporting pal of dancer-turned-activist Tracy Turnblad (newcomer Maddie Baillio). Grande, who got her start on Nickelodeon shows "Victorious" and "Sam & Cat" before becoming into an international singing superstar in recent years, told her Twitter followers that she was officially "a checkerboard chick," a reference to one of her character's famous lines.
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 😭— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) July 7, 2016
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— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) July 7, 2016
The singer also told fans that she's been a "Hairspray" devotee since the show debuted on Broadway back in 2002, and particularly loved the performance of the musical's original Penny, Kerry Butler. Grande called the part "a dream role," and said that she was "so honored and beyond excited to be a part of this dream cast."
That dream cast is stacked with plenty of big names, including Jennifer Hudson, Kristin Chenoweth, Harvey Fierstein, Martin Short, and Derek Hough.
"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," said NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt in a statement. "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."
"Hairspray Live!" dances onto the airwaves on December 7 on NBC.
[via: Ariana Grande, Variety]
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