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Hairspray Live! (2016)

0:31 | Trailer
A teenage girl living in Baltimore in the early 1960s dreams of appearing on a popular TV dance show.


Harvey Fierstein (teleplay by), Mark O'Donnell (book) | 3 more credits »
2,337 ( 253)
Won 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 11 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Dove Cameron ... Amber Von Tussle
Kristin Chenoweth ... Velma Von Tussle
Billy Eichner ... Rob Barker
Ariana Grande ... Penny Pingleton
Shahadi Wright Joseph ... Little Inez
Martin Short ... Wilbur Turnblad
Harvey Fierstein ... Edna Turnblad
Ricki Lake ... Pinkette
Andrea Martin ... Prudy Pingleton
Rosie O'Donnell ... Gym Teacher
Sean Hayes ... Mr. Pinky
Jennifer Hudson ... Motormouth Maybelle
Derek Hough ... Corny Collins
Garrett Clayton ... Link Larkin
Marissa Jaret Winokur ... Pinkette


Teenager Tracy Turnblad accomplishes her dream of becoming a regular on her favorite tv show, she sets off on a mission to integrate the all white tv show along the way she is confronted by the pro-segregation mother daughter duo Velma and Amber Von Tussle Written by JJ

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

live broadcast | See All (1) »


You can't stop the beat!


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

7 December 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hairspray Live! See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In the song "Miss Baltimore Crabs", Velma is supposed to refer to Tracy as "short and stout". This line was changed on the soundtrack to "loud and stout", as Kristen Chenowith is actually shorter than Maddie Ballio. However, in the actual live broadcast, Chenowith made a mistake and sang the original lyric. See more »


When Tracie comes home to watch the Corny Collins show, she smacks the television and says "Philco" while the TV is actually a Muntz brand. See more »


Referenced in An Anxious Mind (2016) See more »


Velma's Revenge
Music by Marc Shaiman
Lyrics Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman
Performed by Kristin Chenoweth
See more »

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User Reviews

Could've been better
12 December 2016 | by y-02049See all my reviews

7/10 is a pretty generous rating for Hairspray Live. There were definitely some mistakes, however it was mostly enjoyable.

Good casting choices: Maddie Baillio, Harvey Fierstein, Jennifer Hudson, Kristin Chenoweth, Ephraim Sykes, Derek Hough, Andrea Martin, Martin Short, and Shahadi Wright Joseph

While Baillio's vocals are outstanding, her dancing and acting are mediocre. Fierstein is unbeatable. Hudson overdoes "I Know Where I've Been" a tad (the rewrites in the song are unnecessary) however her vocals are incredible. Chenoweth has some issues with overdoing things too, but she's legendary. Sykes is wonderful as is Joseph. Short and Martin are both hilarious. Hough's vocals keep up with his dancing.

Bad casting choices: Ariana Grande, Dove Cameron, and Garrett Clayton

Grande is simply horrible in the role of Penny. She is an awful actress and her vocals are weak. If she's going to keep singing, she should stick to her pop music and move away from musical theatre. Cameron overdoes Amber. While Amber is supposed to be irritating, Cameron made her unbearable in a bad way. Her voice is much too nasal and it makes one want to mute the TV whenever she speaks. Her vocals aren't very good either. She should stick to Disney. Although Clayton has the Link Larkin look, he wasn't the best choice for this role. I think NBC tried too hard to cast actors a younger audience would be familiar with rather than trying to please the older audience, who are more likely to watch this anyway.

The camera angles and sound were poorly done. It almost seemed like there had been little to no rehearsal for the cameramen.

If you're looking for a musical and you're not too particular, this is perfect for you. If you're an "expert" in theatre and prefer a more professional production, go see this show onstage or find a better way to spend your time.

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