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NBC’s latest musical brought us back to 1962 Baltimore, and anticipation for “Hairspray Live!” was higher than Tracy Turnblad’s hair.
Based on the 2002 Broadway show — an adaptation of John Waters’ 1988 cult classic that later spawned a 2007 musical film — this latest incarnation revisited the beloved story of “pleasantly plump” high schooler Tracy, who dreams of appearing on “The Corny Collins Show” and ultimately launches a campaign to integrate the local teen dance program.
The all-star production, which featured names such as Kristin Chenoweth, Jennifer Hudson and Ariana Grande, didn’t disappoint. Here are some of the moments that had viewers talking.
1. Maddie Baillio’s big debut
Newcomer Baillio won the coveted role of Tracy after auditioning at an open casting call that drew roughly 1,000 hopefuls. And the League City, Texas, native won us over from the first moments of her opening number, “Good Morning Baltimore.”
2. Harvey Fierstein steals the show
Harvey Fierstein returned to the role of Edna Turnblad — for which he won a Tony Award in 2003 — and his performance was just as epic as expected. You're timeless to us, Harvey!
3. Those amazing cameos
Ricki Lake, who played Tracy in the original movie, and Marissa Jaret Winokur, who took her to Broadway, both popped in as Mr. Pinky’s assistants during the "Welcome to the '60s" number, giving us major nostalgia.
4. Jennifer Hudson's emotional solo
As Motormouth Maybelle, J.Hud's moving rendition of "I Know Where I've Been" had us — and the internet — tearing up.
5. The show’s signature song
"You Can't Stop the Beat" was the night's biggest musical number, and perfectly showcased the ensemble cast's powerful pipes. (We'll be singing it for the next week.)
"Hairspray Live!" follows last year’s production of “The Wiz." NBC’s previous musicals have included "Peter Pan” (2014) and "The Sound of Music” (2013).