Hairspray Live!: The Star-Studded Cast Previews 'You Can't Stop the Beat'

In case you were on the fence about NBC’s upcoming Hairspray Live! production, the sneak peek that aired as part of the network’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade coverage might move the needle for you.

Though prerecorded, this on-location performance of “You Can’t Stop the Beat” highlights the expansive cast, from newcomer Maddie Baillio as Tracy Turnblad to a cavalcade of very familiar faces, including Jennifer Hudson (as Motormouth Maybelle), Ariana Grande (as Penny Pingleton), Derek Hough (as Corny Collins), Kristin Chenoweth and Dove Cameron (as Velma and Amber Von Tussle) and, as seemingly always, Harvey Fierstein as Edna Turnblad.

If you were busy, I dunno, “brining,” or like me toggling between the parade and watching one hundred 6-foot tall wooden soldiers beat the tar out of the Bogeymen, give the preview above a peek and share your current level of anticipation for Hairspray Live!, airing Wednesday, Dec. 7 and presumably brought to you by Ultra Clutch.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Leila G says:

    the wait is killing me uggh!!!

  2. MRD says:

    Why didn’t Harvey sing?

  3. Betsy says:

    They still have a few weeks, but overall more energy is needed. From Tracy (especially Tracy!), Penny, and a couple of others.

    • jericho says:

      More energy for sure. I watched this and couldn’t help but think to myself, “not everyone can do what they did with Grease”. I know this was a prerecorded bit, but the feeling all they were doing was lipsyncing (badly) practically killed all of my interest.

    • Hannah says:

      My thoughts exactly!

    • sillyemmy says:

      Right? What a snoozer. I was excited about this, but this is like one step beyond sleepwalking. I’m crossing my fingers for a better live performance!!

  4. Dave says:

    Garrett Clayton is adorbs but gayer than a picnic basket. 😂

    • Stephen says:

      ^^This!! I agree! And this is coming from someone who’s boyfriend is as gay as a theee dollar bill!! 😜 If he’s playing straight, kid needs to masc it up ALOT!

  5. Kirk says:

    It’s “Ultra Clutch” hairspray, but nice try!

    I agree with the other commenters, more energy was needed. Ariana’s voice is so thin I could hardly hear her! I’m actually less excited now since seeing the performance.

  6. Steven says:

    I agree with the other comments: less excited after seeing this clip.
    It can’t be as terrible as RHPS though can it? Fingers crossed it’s not.

  7. Margaret says:

    doesn’t seaweed have a solo in it too? bummer it wasn’t shown, Ephram Sykes has a killer voice. Ariana looked way more timid than I was expecting. Surprised for sure.

  8. Crys says:

    So disappointed. Why would they cast great singers but crappy dancers? This is a show ABOUT dancers. And where is the energy??? And it’s prerecorded and still. It exciting?? I’m so sad. Hairspray is one of my favs.

  9. readenreply says:

    A pre-taped lip synced preview of Hairspray “Live”


  10. V. says:

    Well, most of the cast need to learn the damn choreography still. Maddie was stumbling through her steps, she even forgot to lyp synch a part of the song. And that Discount Zac Efron in red is the worst dancer. That was not good.

  11. josephvitug says:

    The best for me in this incarnation of that famous number are Jennifer Hudson and Kristen Chenoweth–Motormouth Maybelle has fierce soul, and Velma Von Tussle never sounded so bright and good. But I have to note the dresses for Penny and Motormouth Maybelle seem more late-1960s and isn’t this musical set in the early-1960s?

  12. OMG its today and can’t wait… It’s like Christmas Day!!!!